He was considered the “father of modern science” and is known for developing the first modern computers, among other things. His discoveries made an impact, as he was also known for breaking the Nazi Enigma code during World War II. This was achieved through a machine called the Bombe, that Turing and his teammates used to decode the Enigma cipher machine. Turing was a talented man, as he was a mathematician, and an Olympic level runner.
Although he was not deeply involved into politics, he supported the hippie movement, and was greatly concerned with the rise of Hitler during the 1930’s. Although Alan Turing was considered such an intelligent man, surprisingly enough, he was not good in school. His teachers often complained about him, and his teachers criticized his writing. He was however into physics, biology, chemistry, and neurology. He was passionate about science since a young boy, even though it was frowned upon.
His mother had rather hoped he pursued the classics, as this was the “acceptable pursuit for gentlemen.” His passion for science also led to his curiosity and intrigue to the concept of growth. There is a sketch of Turing as a young boy, in which he watches daisies grow while the other children play. This was due to his mathematical explanation of how things grow and his paper on “Outline of the Development of the Daisy.” He also published a paper, “Can machines think?” which was one of his most famous pieces of work.
Turing questioned machines, and whether they could “initiate human conversation,” which played a vital role in the field of artificial intelligence. Turing was considered the “father of computer science and artificial intelligence, and first addressed the issue of artificial intelligence in his paper, “Computing machinery and intelligence.” He was also the one to recommend an experiment known as the “Turing Test,” which was designed to create an intelligence design standard for the tech industry. His thoughts and ideas were unique, and Turing evidently had a brilliant mind.
Despite Alan Turing’s many achievements however, he still greatly suffered the discrimination for his sexuality as a consequence of a homophobic society. As Turing was from the United Kingdom, homosexuality was still considered illegal in the 1950’s, and after being convicted of having sexual relationships with another man, he was forced to undergo hormonal treatment to reduce his libido. He soon after had to go through chemical castration through injections of a synthetic estrogen hormone for a year. Unfortunately, Turner was later found dead in the year 1954, as a result of suicide from cyanide poisoning.
Turing is only one of the many brilliant talented minds who has suffered the consequences of discrimination against the LGBTQ community. Although we are progressing as a society and are becoming more inclusive by the day, there is always work to do. Pride month is a month in which we bring awareness to the many issues the LGBTQ community has faced throughout so many decades and helps us try to ally with the LGBTQ community. It is extremely unfortunate that such bright individuals such as Alan Turing have resulted into taking away their lives, due to societal injustices. We must continue to work towards achieving justice and equal opportunity for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning community, and pride month allows us to celebrate and encourage greater acceptance of the LGBTQ community. Parrolabs is proud to ally and support the LGBTQ community, and we celebrate people coming together in love and friendship, however there is still much more work that needs to be done worldwide.