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Engines of creation – and the people who build them
Source: Douglas Heaven




Alan Turing saw it coming. “Machines take me by surprise with great frequency,” he wrote in “Computing machinery and intelligence” – the same 1950 paper that begins “I propose to ask the question ‘Can machines think?’” and goes on to set down the rules of an Imitation Game, or what we call the Turing Test, designed to get the measure of an artificial intelligence.

Turing was pushing back against the idea that computers could do nothing more than what they were instructed to do. Despite his arguments, it is a reputation they were stuck with for decades. Machines are robotic. They cannot come up with anything new, they cannot be creative.

But fast-forward 77 years and our machines are full of surprises. What’s more, the ability to lead us to unexpected places – from new kinds of art to new discoveries in science and medicine – is arguably




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