Turing, North Carolina, and Thinking Machines

There exists a venn diagram such that what happened in NC this week and Alan Turing’s life intersect. Last week, Charity and I listened to radiolab’s short on Alan Turing. The man who gave us the computer and, quite literally, found the key to ending WWII loved other men. The shame he felt after being arrested and being forced to take hormones for his sexuality ultimiately drove him to take his own life at age 42.

JoAnne of the Poetry with Mathematics blog posted this poem by Matt Harvey yesterday: 

Alan Turing   by Matt Harvey

     here’s a toast to Alan Turing
     born in harsher, darker times
     who thought outside the container
     and loved outside the lines
     and so the code-breaker was broken
     and we’re sorry
     yes now the s-word has been spoken
     the official conscience woken
     — very carefully scripted but at least it’s not encrypted —
     and the story does suggest
     a part 2 to the Turing Test:
     1. can machines behave like humans?
     2. can we?