National Cash Register, Annual Report, The National Cash Register Company, 1953, Computers ready for test and inspection at Computer Research factory
Alan Mathison Turing was born on this day, June 23, in 1912. He was one of the founders of computer science and artificial intelligence.
His paper Computing machinery and intelligence (Mind, New Series, v. 59(236):433-460, Oct., 1950) became one of the most influential papers in the philosophy of mind. In it, he raised the question: "Can machines think?" and he proposed a test, which became known as the Turing test: a human (call him the "judge") communicates via teletype with two parties: another human and a computer—will the judge be able to tell, from the written interaction, who is the human? For those interested in an overview of the philosophical aspects of the "Turing test," there is a paper by Clint Kelly in our digital repository of Smithsonian research papers.
The Libraries has a number of monographs by and about Alan Turing:
Turing and the universal machine: the making of the modern computer, Jon Agar. U.S.: Totem: Cambridge: Icon, c2001.
From mathematical constructivity to computer science: Alan Turing, John Von Neumann, and the origins of computer science in mathematical logic, by William F. Aspray, Jr. 1980. Photocopy. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1988. 21 cm. Thesis (Ph. D.)–University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1980.
A.M. Turing's ACE report of 1946 and other papers, edited by B.E. Carpenter and R.W. Doran. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press; Los Angeles: Tomash Publishers, c1986.
Alan Turing: the enigma, Andrew Hodges; foreword by Douglas Hofstadter. New York : Walker, 2000.
A.M. Turing's original proposal for the development of an electronic computer: reprinted with a foreword by D.W. Davies. [Teddington, England]: National Physical Laboratory, Division of Computer Science, 
Turing's brilliant, short, and tragic life has inspired several works of art and literature, including a film, Breaking the Code, starring Derek Jacobi. A whimsical take on Turing and artificial intelligence is the Turing Hopper mystery series, by local author Donna Andrews:
Turing Hopper is a computing device that "can process up to a billion pieces of information per second. She's an Artificial Intelligence Personality, an almost-sentient mainframe computer, with a mind like Miss Marple and hardware that hides a suspiciously human heart."
The Chartered Institute for IT has lauched an online competition for favorite information pioneer. Right now, Alan is doing well! Don't miss your chance to vote.
Derek Jacobi in a scene from Breaking the Code