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EnroWiki : LivresLus2023

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2023

- Susanna Clarke. Piranèse. 2020 (Robert Laffont)
- Ian McEwan?. Machines like Me. 2019 (Jonathan Cape)

[Alan Turing :] 'I pleaded guilty to avoid a trial, and refused the treatment. In retrospect, though it didn't seem like it at the time, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. For all but two months of my year in Wandsworth, I had a cell to myself. Being cut off from experimental work, wet-bench stuff and all the usual obligations, I turned back to mathematics. Because of the war, quantum mechanics was moribund from neglect. There were some curious contradictions that I wanted to explore. I was interested in Paul Dirac's work. Above all, I wanted to understand what quantum mechanics could teach computer science. Few interruptions, of course. Access to a few books. People from King's and Manchester and elsewhere came to visit. My friends never let me down. As for the intelligence work, they had me where they wanted me and they left me alone. I was free! I did my best year's work since we broke the Enigma code in '41. Or since the computer logic papers I wrote in the mid-thirties. I even made some headway with the P versus NP problem, though it wasn't formulated in those terms for another fifteen years. I was excited by Crick and Watson's paper on the structure of DNA. I began to work on the first sketches that led eventually to winner-take-all DNA neural networks (…).'

Turing’s institute drove forward AI and computational biology. He said he wasn’t interested in becoming richer than he already was. Hundreds of prominent scientists followed his example on open-source publication which would lead, in 1987, to the collapse of the journals ‘Nature’ and ‘Science’. He was much criticised for that. Others said that his work had created tens of thousands of jobs around the world in diverse fields – computer graphics, particle accelerators, protein folding, smart electricity distribution, defence, space exploration. No one could guess the end of such a list. (pp. 39-40)
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