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Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma (Kindle Single) (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

David Boyle
2.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Alan Mathison Turing.

Mathematician, philosopher, codebreaker, a founder of computer science, and the father of Artificial Intelligence, Turing was one of the most original thinkers of the last century - and the man whose work helped create the computer-driven world we now inhabit.

But he was also an enigmatic figure, deeply reticent yet also strikingly naïve. Turing’s openness about his homosexuality at a time when it was an imprisonable offense ultimately led to his untimely death at the age of only forty-one.

In 'Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma', David Boyle reveals the mysteries behind the man and his remarkable career. Aged just 22, Turing was elected a fellow at King's College, Cambridge on the strength of a dissertation in which he proved the central limit theorem. By the age of 33, he had been awarded the OBE by King George VI for his wartime services: Turing was instrumental in cracking the Nazi Enigma machines at the top secret code breaking establishment at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.

But his achievements were to be tragically overshadowed by the paranoia of the post-War years. Hounded for his supposedly subversive views and for his sexuality, Turing was prosecuted in 1952, and forced to accept the humiliation of hormone treatment to avoid a prison sentence. Just two years later, at the age of 41 he was dead. The verdict: cyanide poisoning.

Was Turing’s death accidental as his mother always claimed? Or did persistent persecution drive him to take him own life?

‘Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma’ seeks to find the man behind the science, illuminating the life of a person who is still a shadowy presence behind his brilliant achievements.

David Boyle's work has been widely praised.

‘The tone of the book may be gloomy but there is plenty of entertainment value …’ Anne Ashworth, The Times

‘Exhilarating’ Daily Mail

‘He tells these stories, on the whole persuasively and with some startling asides.’ New Statesman

‘A book that is engagingly sensitive to the sentiments of what is sometimes called “middle England”’ Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times

David Boyle is a British author and journalist who writes mainly about history and new ideas in economics, money, business and culture. He lives in Crystal Palace, London. His books include ‘Unheard Unseen: Warfare in the Dardanelles’, ‘Towards the Setting Sun: The Race for America’ and ‘The Age to Come’.

Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.

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Commentaires en ligne

2.7 étoiles sur 5
2.7 étoiles sur 5
Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Alan Turing 4 octobre 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
An easy to read account of the life & achievements of AT. His personal traits set in order & his mental occupation with mathematics
in its prewar possibilties explained. His code breaking methods is explained & his proposals for machines which opened the way
for the computing capabilities of today 2014. He led things at Bletchley Park & was highly respected in what must be the greatest
collection of thinkers the world has ever known. With paper & pencil directed by inquisitive minds they broke the complex coding system used in the enigma machines, both land & sea versions. Churchll's goose that did not cackle,& our second finest hour.
We will never see the like again, The microchip does the clever stuff for us. By comparison, life today is dull & boring.
Sad about his demise, But a sage comment that while our society forgave him, we really are in more ineed of his forgiveness.
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2.0 étoiles sur 5 tres decevant 13 décembre 2014
Par DCM
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
On a vraiment du mal à comprendre l'apport de notre héros au déchiffrage des messages associés à Enigma. Il est probable que l'auteur n'a pas compris en quoi consistait le processus d'où sa difficulté à expliquer.
Quant à l'Intelligence Artificielle l'apport du héros est carrément absent. On trouve bien des discussions philosophiques mais on n'arrive pas à savoir si il a contribué pratiquement ou non.

Bref un livre très décevant même s'il est bien écrit. S'abstenir.
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 vie de Turing et pas histoire de enigma 7 mai 2015
Par belette
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Déçu car je croyais lire l'histoire du film enigma
Il aurait fallu signaler qu'il s'agissait de la vie de Turing
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 étoiles sur 5  199 commentaires
27 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Decent overview of Alan Turing's life 26 juin 2014
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This was a pretty good read. I've read several books on the Enigma and Bletchly Park. While Turning was often a major character in these books, I had never read much about the man himslef. This book provided a decent overview. For anyone interested in the Allie's code breaking operations who haven't already read a biography of Turing, this would be an excellent place to start.

The one thing I didn't like about the book is that, especially toward the end, it wandered more into philosophical arguments for and against the "Turing test" (a test posited by Turing which, if passed, would prove that machines could think). This got a little boring and didn't realy focus on Turing himself.

Even so, for folks who are aware of Alan Turing, but don't know much detail about him, this is a good book to get an overview of his life.
22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Informative and engaging biography of tragic hero 24 février 2014
Par Katherine - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
David Boyle has written a book that should appeal to lovers of history, mathematics and computing. Unlocking the Enigma is pacy, yet very little seems to have been missed in the author's sympathetic portrait of a genius, whose life ended in tragedy. Boyle addresses Turing's ideas, as well as his complex personality. Am duly looking forward to see how Benedict Cumberbatch with play Turing in the film currently being made, in light of this book.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Short but excellent overview of Turing's life and work 27 décembre 2014
Par Jules Jones - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
This new biography of Turing is short, the length of a long article or essay rather than a full book. If you want a detailed exploration of the life and work of Turing, you'll have to look elsewhere, but this is a good overview that's well worth reading. It's well balanced on coverage of his personal life, his work at Bletchley Park, and his academic work, tying them all together so you can see how one element affects the others. It also brings the story up to date as I write this, having been prompted by the campaign for a posthumous pardon, and there's some interesting material about that which won't be in the older biographies.

It's well written and edited, solidly grounded in known facts but enhanced by the author's clearly marked interpretation of some of those facts to make it more than a dry recital, and I found it a very enjoyable read. If you're looking for something a little more in-depth than the online articles without diving into the full length works, this is an excellent introduction to Turing. I think it will also serve well as a synopsis volume for those who want an outline in addition to the full length studies.

The Kindle Single is currently priced at 99p, and excellent value for money at that price, even if a significant chunk of the stated page count is a preview of another book by the author. It's also available in a paper edition, although I'm not convinced that most readers would find it value for money unless they're die-hard completists, unable to use Kindle format ebooks, or looking for a gift for a Turing fan. There's also an audiobook version.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Informative for a short read 1 janvier 2015
Par Sam Quixote - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Alan Turing was a notable philosophical/mathematical figure in the advancement of computers and artificial intelligence. Known for his contributions at Bletchley Park (Britain’s codebreaking headquarters) during World War 2, Turing worked on cracking the Nazi’s Enigma code which was used in transmissions between the U-Boats and Nazi command. At Bletchley, he developed enhancements to a Polish bomb machine, which decrypted messages, to create the bombe, a machine that found the settings of Enigma.

Following the end of the war, Turing pursued his fascination with machines further and began conceptualising the modern computers that we use today. He also worked on the design of the Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) and came up with The Turing Test, which was a method to set a standard to determine if a machine was intelligent or not. The idea was that if the user couldn’t tell whether who they were talking with was a computer or a human, then a computer could be said to be intelligent.

Turing was also an unashamed homosexual at a time in Britain where, under the Labouchere Amendment, homosexuality was illegal (this same law also sentenced Oscar Wilde to 2 years hard labour). Turing was arrested in 1952 after talking about his boyfriend during a burglary and sentenced to oestrogen injections (chemical castration) that caused him to physically change (he grew breasts) and disrupt his thinking.

In 1954, at the age of 41, Alan Turing committed suicide by swallowing cyanide, perhaps as a result of his persecution as a gay man. A half-eaten apple was found alongside him and it was believed that the apple was the delivery method of the poison – Turing was obsessed with the Disney film Snow White where the apple sends Snow White into a deep sleep. The Labouchere Amendment was repealed in 1967 and it was only in 2013 that Queen Elizabeth II gave Turing an official pardon for his “crime”.

David Boyle’s Unlocking the Enigma is a brief, but informative, look at Turing’s life and work that covers all of the above, as well as many other things, in more detail. It also focuses on theories surrounding Turing’s death, that, perhaps because of his Intelligence work during the war and proclivity to take holidays abroad in countries near the Iron Curtain (where homosexual behaviour was more permissive), Turing was killed to keep him from giving away secrets – if that was what he was doing (unlikely).

Boyle also mentions that Turing’s death was perhaps accidental given the dangerous experiments he was conducting with chemicals at the time, especially as his hormone punishment had ended and his friends claimed he wasn’t depressed at the time (though this theory is also unlikely).

Boyle does also heavily emphasise Turing as a gay martyr, which is fair given the harsh treatment all gay people suffered under the Labouchere Amendment, but especially as Turing didn’t hide his sexuality. He was years ahead of his time not just in his work with computers but with his social thinking too.

Unlocking the Enigma is a fine introduction/summary of Alan Turing’s work and life for readers unfamiliar with him and not looking for an in-depth study or lengthy biography of the great man.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Nice short treatise of Alan Turing 26 août 2014
Par Kevin Roche - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Nice short treatise of Alan Turing. No really a complete biography. Well written but it helps if you know most of his story already.
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