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13.  Touring Machines

Computation, when it was finally invented, a century after Babbage, did not come in the form of some new gadget in an inventor's workshop or a scientist's laboratory. The very possibility of building digital computers was given to the world in the form of an esoteric paper in a mathematics journal in 1936. Nobody realized at the time that this peculiar discovery in the obscure field of metamathematics would eventually lead to a world-changing technology, although the young author, Alan Mathison Turing, knew he was on the track of machines that could simulate the human thought processes.


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Last modified: 27/July/98 (12:14)