Honors 177 Week 7


Alan Turing, arguably one of the most important scientists of the twentieth century, played an integral role in the extensive series of events during World War II. Highly fluent in the languages of computer science, math, and cryptology, Turing used his superior skills to aid the Allies in defeating the Germans and Axis powers. Without his assistance, it could be argued that the War could have a much different result, possibly even having the Germans winning battles that could have shifted the entire momentum of the war.

Alan Turing


As I missed class last week, I am not yet part of a group. So for this blog I did some research on the life of Alan Turing and I am writing about my reactions to the lecture and readings posted on the class webpage.

The Sims and AI

Alan Turing, the “father of computer science,” created the magnificent Eliza Program. Our group will focus on Artificial Intelligence. I will specifically concentrate on “The Sims” in relation to the Eliza Program.

Final Proposal: Cyber Companion

My final project is inspired and somewhat based on Alan Turing’s ELIZA program and the Turing Test. I’m interested in designing a smart house software programed with artificial intelligence allowing it to engage in conversation with its owner. I found a clip from a sci-fi show called “EUReKA” on YouTube which illustrates what I am striving to accomplish but rather than remaining science fiction, I want to make this sci-fi idea a reality.

Microvenus & Biotech

As I was watching the lectures, I was drawn to Joe Davis’ Microvenus and other works. I found his work very intriguing so I decided to research his works in relation to biotechnology and art more in depth and “WOW” was my reaction to this this man and his work. I think that he is a great role model for what our class is focusing on and it would have been epic to have him as a guest lecturer. His ideas and artworks are multi-faceted including biotechnology, art, philosophy, and outer space to name a few.

Siri, the new Eliza


Through our in-class exploration of Alan Turing, my group and I decided to delve further into Turing and his contributions specific to Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), to not only learn about the history and progression of A.I. but to also analyze his influence on A.I. products and programs today. I specifically wanted to focus on Siri, and learn about her origins, the type of programming that drives her, how A.I. seems to play a role, and also explore any possible connections between Siri and Turing’s Eliza.

Alan Turing and Morphogenesis

Alan Turing proposed, based purely on logical reasoning, that pattern formation in nature involved an ‘activating’ substance and an ‘inhibiting’ substance. The repetition of activator and inhibitor could create patterns such as stripes.1 Previously, developmental biologists were puzzled by pattern formation because they could not explain it using the linear models that were the extent of their knowledge at the time. Turing proposed a nonlinear model by introducing diffusion as the generator of instability in the model, instead of being a byproduct of the model.

Extra Credit - Biotech to Biopunk

Lejla Kucukalik's presentation about Biotech to Biopunk focused on the movement of biopunk and science fiction and their impact on biotech research as well as society and culture today. Biopunk is a movement that advocates using our biotechnological knowledge and genetic information in an open-source format. This would allow many more people to have access and to be able to "hack" the human genome, creating more innovation and science-fiction-esque progression.

Artificial Intelligence - Smart Ads and Personalizing the Web Experience (Final Brainstorm)

For the final project, our group is focusing on the artificial intelligence idea that Alan Turing effectively started, and I am specifically looking at the use of artificial intelligence in marketing and promoting on the web. While artificial intelligence (AI) usually conjures up pictures of futuristic robots and computer systems in most of our minds today, AI is actually a large part of our lives today.

Extra Credit: The Biotech to Biopunk--Shiwei Huang

Lejla Kucukalic talked about biopunk and different types of science fictions on Thursday. The illustration on the Genetics and Society website is from Wildseed by Wayne Barlowe. Science fictions reflect the popular interested in biotechnology and biomedicine. At the same time, science fictions also have influenced biomedical research. One of the earliest science fictions is Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley in 1818. Kuckalic discussed about Frankenstein, and she believed that it represented a tormented scientist and the rewards and dangers resulted from science.

Why the War Against Gray?

When I first saw the picture of Kathy Brew’s “in-between” hair as I walked into the exhibition room, I did not know what I was looking at. It seemed eerily beautiful: a mix of white and copper, with the contrast making the copper seem like fire. When I realized it was hair, I thought it must have been made that way on purpose. Little did I know that it was the evidence of a struggle the artist had been dealing with since her early twenties.


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