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The Incomputable Alan Turing

Alan Mathison Turing 2004: A celebration of his life and achievements

Manchester University, 5 June, 2004


Barry Cooper


The last century saw dramatic challenges to the Laplacian predictability which had underpinned scientific research for around 300 years. Basic to this was Alan Turing's 1936 discovery (along with Alonzo Church) of the existence of unsolvable problems. This paper focuses on incomputability as a powerful theme in Turing's work and personal life, and examines its role in his evolving concept of machine intelligence. It also traces some of the ways in which important new developments are anticipated by Turing's ideas in logic.


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