40 Best Alan Turing Quotes About Life, Love, And Science

Anusuya Mukherjee
Dec 12, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Jan 11, 2021
A computer programmer working on desk

Alan Turing was a world-renowned mathematician and computer science expert.

He is credited to have made theoretical algorithms on computers. He is also famously known as the father of artificial intelligence.

It is said that Alan Turing put forward the idea and concept of a computer. During the second world war, Turing was one of the cryptographers who were given the task to break the famous enigma machine which was used as a vehicle for Nazi communication.

The movie 'The Imitation Game' showed his work, and Benedict Cumberbatch brilliantly portrayed Turing's character.

Turing's machine 'Christopher' broke the code of the enigma and apparently shortened the war by two years thereby saving 14 million lives. If you are a computer enthusiast then these Alan Turing quotes can be a lovely way to get working along with computers.

If you would like to read more fun articles with similar quotes, check out Computer Quotes and Ada Lovelace Quotes.

The Best Quotes By Alan Turing

Closeup shot of computer keyboard.

Listed below are a few famous Alan Turing quotes. You will find man and machine quotes and quotes of a computer scientist who was able to use his genius to change the world.

1."I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted."

- Alan Turing, 'Computing Machinery and Intelligence'.

2. "A man provided with paper, pencil, and rubber, and subject to strict discipline, is in effect a universal machine."

- Alan Turing.

3. "May not machines carry out something which ought to be described as thinking but which is very different from what a man does?"

- Alan Turing.

4. "The idea behind digital computers may be explained by saying that these machines are intended to carry out any operations which could be done by a human computer."

- Alan Turing.

5. "Programming is a skill best acquired by practice and example rather than from books."

- Alan Turing.

6. "Presumably the child-brain is something like a notebook as one buys it from the stationer's. Rather little mechanism, and lots of blank sheets."

- Alan Turing.

7. "I propose to consider the question, 'Can machines think?'"

- Alan Turing.

8. "Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition."

- Book 'Alan Turing: The Enigma', Andrew Hodges.  

9. "Machines take me by surprise with great frequency."

- Alan Turing.

10. "A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human."

-Alan Turing, 'Computing Machinery and Intelligence', 1950.

11. "We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done."

- Alan Mathison Turing, B. J. Copeland, 'The Essential Turing', Oxford University Press (2004).

12. "Turing believes machines think; Turing lies with men; Therefore machines do not think"

- 'A letter to Norman', Routledge, 1952.

13. "Those who can imagine anything, can create the impossible."

- Alan Turing.

14. "I have had a dream indicating rather clearly that I am on the way to being hetero, though I don't accept it with much enthusiasm either awake or in the dreams."

- Alan Turing.

15. "We are not interested in the fact that the brain has the consistency of cold porridge."

- Alan Turing.

16. "I'm afraid that the following syllogism may be used by some in the future."

- Alan Turing.

17. "Instead of trying to produce a programme to simulate the adult mind, why not rather try to produce one which simulates the child's? If this were then subjected to an appropriate course of education one would obtain the adult brain."

- Alan Turing.

Alan Turning's Quotes On Machines And Computers

Here you will find an Alan Turing quote about a computer scientist and other Alan Turning quotes about machines and computers.

18. "If a machine is expected to be infallible, it cannot also be intelligent."

- Alan Mathison Turing, B. J. Copeland, 'The Essential Turing', Oxford University Press, (2004).

19. "There is, however, one feature that I would like to suggest should be incorporated in the machines, and that is a 'random element.' Each machine should be supplied with a tape bearing a random series of figures".

- Alan Turing.

20. "Up to a point, it is better to just let the snags [bugs] be there than to spend such time in design that there are none."

- Alan Turing.

21. "Unless in communicating with it one says exactly what one means, trouble is bound to result."

- Alan Turing.

22. "Codes are a puzzle. A game. Just like any other game."

- Alan Turing.

Alan Turing Quotes About Science And Maths

If you are looking for famous quotes about science then you won't be disappointed as these Alan Turing quotes are wonderful.  The computer science quotes from Alan Turing and quotes about Alan Turing will excite every computer science enthusiast.

23. "A very large part of space-time must be investigated, if reliable results are to be obtained."

- Alan Turing.

24. "This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be. We have to have some experience with the machine before we really know its capabilities."

- Times Newspaper, 'The Mechanical Brain. Answer Found to 300 Year Old Problem'.

25. "One day ladies will take their computers for walks in the park and tell each other, "My little computer said such a funny thing this morning."

- Alan Turing.

26. "If a machine prints two kinds of symbols, of which the first kind (called figures) consists entirely of 0 and 1 (the others being called symbols of the second kind), then the machine will be called a computing machine."

- Alan Turing.

27. "Mathematical reasoning may be regarded rather schematically as the exercise of a combination of two facilities, which we may call intuition and ingenuity."

-'Systems of Logic Based on Ordinals',  Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society, Series 2, Volume 45, 1939.

28. "If one wants to make a machine mimic the behavior of the human-computer in some complex operation one has to ask him how it is done and then translate the answer into the form of an instruction table."

- Alan Turing.

29. "For some purposes, we might use machines (choice... or c-machines) whose motion is only partially determined by the configuration... When such a machine reaches... ambiguous configurations, it cannot go on until some arbitrary choice has been made by an external operator."

- Alan Turing.

30. "Instruction tables will have to be made up by mathematicians with computing experience and perhaps a certain puzzle-solving ability. There need be no real danger of it ever becoming a drudge, for any processes that are quite mechanical may be turned over to the machine itself."

- A report in 'Proposed Electronic Calculator' (1946), published in A. M. Turing's ACE Report of 1946 and Other Papers (1986).

31. "We may compare a man in the process of computing a real number to a machine which is only capable of a finite number of conditions q1, q2, ..., qK which will be called 'm-configurations'".

- Alan Turing.

'The Imitation Game' Quotes

In this category, you will find the best 'The Imitation Game' movie quotes along with quotes from the 'Imitation Game' and quotes on the enigma code. These Alan Turing quotes from the movie are comprehensive proof of what a genius the man was.

32. "Hardest time to lie to somebody is when they're expecting to be lied to."

- 'The Imitation Game', 2014.

33. "Are you paying attention? Good. If you are not listening carefully, you will miss things... You think that because you're sitting where you are, and I am sitting where I am, that you are in control of what is about to happen. You're mistaken. I am in control, because I know things that you do not know."

- 'The Imitation Game', 2014.

34. "When people talk to each other, they never say what they mean. [Pause] They say something else and you're expected to just know what they mean."

- 'The Imitation Game', 2014.

35. "Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine."

- 'The Imitation Game', 2014.

36. "Do you know why people like violence? It is because it feels good. Humans find violence deeply satisfying. But remove the satisfaction, and the act becomes... hollow."

- 'The Imitation Game', 2014.

37. "Was I God? No. Because God didn't win the war. We did."

- 'The Imitation Game', 2014.

38. "Of course machines can't think as people do. A machine is different from a person. Hence, they think differently. The interesting question is, just because something, uh.. thinks differently from you, does that mean it's not thinking?"

- 'The Imitation Game', 2014.

39. "What I will need from you now is a commitment. You will listen closely, and you will not judge me until I am finished. If you cannot commit to this, then please leave the room. But if you choose to stay, remember you chose to be here. What happens from this moment forward is not my responsibility."

- 'The Imitation Game', 2014.

40. "Alan Turing: I like solving problems, Commander. And Enigma is the most difficult problem in the world.

Commander Denniston: Enigma isn't difficult, it's impossible. The Americans, the Russians, the French, the Germans, everyone thinks Enigma is unbreakable.

Alan Turing: Good. Let me try and we'll know for sure, won't we?"

- 'The Imitation Game', 2014.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Alan Turing Quotes then why not take a look at Grace Hopper quotes, or Weird Science quotes.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

Read full bio >