Codebreaker Alan Turing to be face of new British banknote

LONDON — Codebreaker and computing pioneer Alan Turing has been chosen as the face of Britain's new 50 pound note, the Bank of England announced Monday.

Governor Mark Carney said Turing, who did ground-breaking work on computers and artificial intelligence, was "a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand."

During World War II Turing worked at the secret Bletchley Park code-breaking center, where he helped crack Nazi Germany's secret codes by creating the "Turing bombe," a forerunner of modern computers. He also developed the "Turing Test" to measure artificial intelligence.

After the war he was prosecuted for homosexuality, which was then illegal, and forcibly treated with female hormones. He died at age 41 in 1954 after eating an apple laced with cyanide.

Turing received a posthumous apology from the British government in 2009, and a royal pardon in 2013.

The U.K's highest-denomination note is the last to be redesigned and switched from paper to more secure and durable polymer. The redesigned 10 pound and 20 pound notes feature author Jane Austen and artist J.M.W. Turner.

The Turing banknote will enter circulation in 2021. It includes a photo of the scientist, mathematical formulae and technical drawings, and a quote from Turing: "This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be."

Former lawmaker John Leech, who led the campaign for a pardon, said he was "absolutely delighted" by the choice.

"I hope it will go some way to acknowledging his unprecedented contribution to society and science," he said.

"But more importantly I hope it will serve as a stark and rightfully painful reminder of what we lost in Turing, and what we risk when we allow that kind of hateful ideology to win."

The Latest: Indigenous leaders begin...

Mar 10, 2018

Thousands of demonstrators are marching Saturday morning to speak out against a pipeline expansion...

Barrick Gold founder Peter Munk dies in Toronto...

Mar 28, 2018

Peter Munk, a Canadian immigrant who founded Barrick Gold and turned it into the world's largest...

The Latest: WH calls Trump's meetings at G-7...

Jun 9, 2018

The White House says President Donald Trump had positive meetings at the G-7 summit with Canadian...

Trump throws G-7 into disarray with tweets after...

Jun 10, 2018

Trump throws G-7 summit into disarray, tweets that US is pulling back its endorsement of group's...

The Latest: Trump tweeting about G-7 before Kim...

Jun 11, 2018

President Donald Trump is taking more swipes at Canada and its prime minister over trade issues as...

Financial Markets

Market Sanctum is one of the world’s leading news sources for the currency trading community. Our analysts report on the latest changes in the current market, providing in-depth analysis.

Contact us: sales[at]marketsanctum.com