Did You Know Of Odisha Link To Father Of Artificial Intelligence?

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Bhubaneswar: Today, Alan Turing is hailed as the father of artificial intelligence. But few know that this genius had an Odisha connect.

Born in 1912, Turing was conceived when his father, Julius Turing, was posted as an Indian Civil Service (ICS) officer at Chhatrapur in Odisha during the British Raj.

Early Life

As was customary at that time, Turing’s mother Sarah Stoney travelled back to England for the baby’s birth to avoid social stigma against a “country-born” child. After delivering the baby, the mother left him in the care of guardians in Sussex and returned to India.

At the age 6, Turing was set to return to India with his parents, but was kept back for health reasons.

A brilliant student, Turing completed his education from the premier Cambridge University in the UK and later went for advanced studies to Princeton University, USA.

War Efforts

Turing was recruited as a code-breaker when the World War II broke out. During this stint, he went on to crack the German Enigma codes that led to the Allied victory against Adolf Hitler in the war.

After the war, Turing continued to work on developing some of the world’s first functioning computers and on the concept of artificial intelligence.

Homosexuality Slur

Despite his work and fame, the British government acted harshly against Turing because he was a homosexual, which was an offence at the time.

In 1952, he was arrested on the charge of “gross indecency” and was given two choices as penalty: imprisonment or chemical castration. He chose the latter. After two years, Turing died at the age of 42. Some believe he had committed suicide.

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