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Codebreaker Alan Turing to be face of new British banknote

Published:Monday | July 15, 2019 | 8:37 AM
In this undated handout provided by the Band of England on Monday, July 15, 2019, a view of the concept of the new 50 pound note bearing the image of Second World War code-breaker Alan Turing. (Bank of England via AP)

LONDON (AP) — 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.

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