Alan Turing Gets New Purchase Power

Bank of England announces it's putting famed mathematician on the 50-pound note
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 15, 2019 10:07 AM CDT
Alan Turing Gets a New Honor
Second World War code-breaker Alan Turing has been selected to feature on the new 50 pound notes notes, shown here at the Science and Industry Museum, in Manchester, England, Monday July 15, 2019.   (Bank of England via AP)

Alan Turing was persecuted for being gay by the country he helped win World War II and ultimately died by his own hand before his 42nd birthday. Almost seven decades later, England is honoring its native son and the father of artificial intelligence by putting his image on the 50-pound note, reports the BBC. "Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today," said Bank of England governor Mark Carney in unveiling the note, which will begin circulating in late 2021. "As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as a war hero, Alan Turing's contributions were far ranging and path breaking."

As CNN notes, Turing played a crucial role in World War II in cracking the Nazis' vaunted Enigma code, an achievement credited with hastening the end of the war. But he was later prosecuted over his homosexuality and chemically castrated as punishment. Turing committed suicide two years later by ingesting cyanide. (Turing wasn't a big fan of America, as newly unearthed letters reveal.)

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