Turing lecture: Alan Turing and the other theory of computing and can a machine be conscious?

Monday, September 18, 2017 - 12:00
The Alan Turing Institute

Note: Registration for this event is compulsory; please book to ensure a space.

In this talk, Lenore and Manuel Blum will explain and recognize Alan Turing’s work in the foundations of numerical computation (in particular, his 1948 paper “Rounding-Off Errors in Matrix Processes”), its influence in complexity theory today, and how it provides a unifying concept for the two major traditions of the Theory of Computation. Manuel will continue to describe neuroscientist Bernard Baars’s Global Workspace Model (GWM) of the brain and propose a formal Turing-Machine-like computational model inspired by it for understanding consciousness.  One of several consequences of this Model is the possibility of free will in a completely deterministic world.

It is based on a plenary talk given on the eve of Turing’s 100th birthday in June 2012 at the Turing Centenary Conference at the University of Cambridge.


Lenore Blum 

Lenore Blum (PhD, MIT) is distinguished career professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and Founding Director of Project Olympus, an innovation center bridging the gap between cutting-edge university research/innovation and economy-promoting commercialization. Project Olympus has been catalytic in the Pittsburgh renaissance and is a good example of Blum’s determination to make a real difference in the academic community and the world beyond.

Manuel Blum

Manuel Blum, a Bruce Nelson a University Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, is a pioneer in the field of theoretical computer science and winner of the 1995 Turing Award in recognition of his contributions to the foundations of computational complexity theory and its applications to cryptography and program checking, a mathematical approach to writing programs that check their work.

For more details on this event and others, head to our website.

The Knowledge Centre

The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB