It’s June 23rd, Alan Turing‘s birthday. Turing is considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. He aged 41 years, but would be 109 years today.
Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts; the Labouchere Amendment of 1885 had mandated that “gross indecency” was a criminal offense in the UK. He accepted chemical castration treatment, with DES (a non-steroidal estrogen medication), as an alternative to prison.
Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined his death as a suicide, but it has been noted that the known evidence is also consistent with accidental poisoning.
Today, in a good news, the new £50 note featuring Alan Turing has been released into circulation by the Bank of England. A man who once was persecuted because of his sexual orientation is now pictured and celebrated on the highest bill in England.
Happy birthday Alan Turing, father of our computers.