We use cookies to enhance your experience of our website.
We are currently experiencing problems with our booking system and are working to resolve this ASAP

Bletchley Park Presents Author Jack Copeland

Sat, 6 Apr 2019
From 12:00 to 16:30
From £22.50
Book now
Join us for exclusive lectures on Alan Turing's contribution to computing history

Bletchley Park will be hosting two lectures with author and Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland on Alan Turing’s contribution to computing history and his groundbreaking research into AI.


Lecture 1 – Alan Turing: Computing Pioneer Codebreaker

12:00 – 13:30

We take it for granted that we use the same all-purpose slab of hardware to shop, manage our finances, type our memoirs, play our favourite music and videos, and send instant messages across the street or around the world. Like many great ideas, this one now seems as obvious as the cart and the arch, but with this single invention — the stored-program universal computer — Turing changed the world. Prof. Copeland tells Turing’s remarkable story: his universal computing machine of 1936, his vital wartime Codebreaking work at Bletchley Park, and his impact on the development of electronic computers after the war.


Lecture 2 – Turing and Birth of Artificial Intelligence

15:00 – 16:30

As early as 1951, Turing was predicting that intelligent computers could take control of human affairs within a millennium. He began his ground-breaking research on computer intelligence about ten years earlier, at Bletchley Park. Copeland describes the evolution of Turing’s thinking on Al, from his wartime investigations of the concepts of machine intelligence and machine learning, to his 1948 manifesto of computer intelligence, and on to his famous Imitation Game, whose successful execution would, Turing claimed, show that human-level Al had arrived.


The two lectures are independent of each other and you may wish to attend either or both.

Tea and coffee will be provided on arrival to the lecture.


About Professor Jack Copeland

Jack Copeland FRS NZ is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. He is also Co-Director and Permanent Visiting Fellow of the Turing Centre at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, and Honorary Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of Queensland, Australia.

In 2016 Jack received the international Covey Award in recognition of “a substantial record of innovative research in the field of computing and philosophy”. In 2017 his name was added to the IT History Society Honor Roll, which the Society describes as “a listing of a select few that have made an out-of-the-ordinary contribution to the information industry”. Also in 2017 the American Philosophical Association (Philosophy’s largest professional body) awarded him their Barwise Prize for “significant and sustained contributions to areas relevant to philosophy and computing”. The citation describes him as “the world-wide expert on Alan Turing and a leading philosopher of AI, computing and information”.

A Londoner by birth, Jack gained a D.Phil. in mathematical logic from the University of Oxford. His books include The Essential Turing (Oxford University Press); Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park’s Codebreaking Computers (Oxford University Press); Alan Turing’s Electronic Brain (Oxford University Press); Computability: Turing, Gödel, Church, and Beyond (MIT Press); and Artificial Intelligence (Blackwell). He has published more than 100 journal articles on the history and philosophy of computing, codebreaking, and mathematical logic. In 2014 Oxford University Press published his highly accessible paperback biography Turing, and in 2017 published his The Turing Guide.

Jack has been script advisor and scientific consultant for a number of historical documentaries. One of them, Arte TV’s The Man Who Cracked the Nazi Codes is based on his bio Turing and won the audience’s Best Documentary prize at the 2015 FIGRA European film festival; another, the BBC’s Code-Breakers: Bletchley Park’s Lost Heroes won two BAFTAs and was listed as one of the year’s three best historical documentaries at the 2013 Media Impact Awards in New York City.