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Issue No.02 - April-June (2004 vol.26)
pp: 3-15
Allan Jones , Open University
ABSTRACT
In May and June 1951, five leading figures of British computing—Douglas Hartree, Max Newman, Alan Turing, Frederic ("Freddie") Williams, and Maurice Wilkes—spoke about their work on BBC radio. This article examines surviving texts of their broadcasts, and the speakers' principal points are summarized through quotations and commentary. The broadcasts are placed in the context of contemporary developments in computing and the particular BBC service on which they were broadcast.
CITATION
Allan Jones, "Five 1951 BBC Broadcasts on Automatic Calculating Machines", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.26, no. 2, pp. 3-15, April-June 2004, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2004.1299654
REFERENCES
1. B.J. Copeland, "A Lecture and Two Radio Broadcasts on Machine Intelligence by Alan Turing," Machine Intelligence, vol. 15, K. Furukawa, S. Michie, and S. Muggleton, eds., Oxford Univ. Press, 1999, pp. 445-446 and 448-453.
2. A. Hodges, Alan Turing: The Enigma, Vintage 1992, pp. 441-442.
3. K. Furukawa, S. Michie, and S. Muggleton eds. Machine Intelligence, vol. 15, Oxford Univ. Press, 1999, pp. 462-465.
4. Neither of Turing's radio broadcasts is reprinted in the most relevant volume of his collected works, namely Collected Works of A.M. Turing, Mechanical Intelligence,, North Holland, 1992, D.C. Ince, ed., (part of theCollected Works of A.M. Turingseries).
5. The script is item AMT/B/5 in the Turing Archive, King's College, Cambridge; http://www.turingarchive.org/browse.php/ B5.
6. M. Campbell-Kelly, "Programming the Pilot ACE: Early Programming Activity at the National Physical Laboratory," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 3, no. 2, Apr. 1981, p. 133.
7. M. Campbell-Kelly, "Programming the EDSAC: Early Programming Activity at the University of Cambridge," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 2, no. 1, Jan. 1980, p. 7.
8. M. Campbell-Kelly, "Programming the Mark I; Early Programming Activity at the University of Manchester," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 2, no. 2, Apr. 1980, pp. 130-131.
9. A. Briggs, Sound and Vision, Oxford Univ. Press, 1979, p. 66.
10. H. Carpenter, The Envy of the World: Fifty Years of the BBC Third Programme and Radio 3, 1946—1996, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1996, pp. 96, 109.
11. B. Paulu, British Broadcasting: Radio and Television in the United Kingdom, Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1956, p. 368.
12. A. Briggs, Sound and Vision, p. 83.
13. A. Jones, "Pioneers on the Air," Actes du sixième Colloque sur l'Histoire de l'Informatique et des Réseaux, Èditions ACONIT, 2002, pp. 14-28.
14. M. Croarken, Early Scientific Computing in Britain, Oxford Univ. Press, 1990, pp. 50-53.
15. D. Hartree, "The ENIAC, an Electronic Computing Machine," Nature, vol. 158, no. 4015, 12 Oct. 1946, pp. 500-506.
16. D. Hartree, Calculating Instruments and Machines, Univ. of Illinois Press, 1949.
17. "An Electronic Brain," The Times,1 Nov. 1946, p. 2; "The Mechanical Brain,"The Times, 11 June 1949, p. 4; and "The Mechanical Brain," The Times,16 June 1949, p. 2.
18. M. Campbell-Kelly "Introduction," toThe Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer by M. Wilkes, D. Wheeler, and S. Gill; Charles Babbage Inst. Reprint Series, Tomash, 1982 (first published by Addison-Wesley, 1951), pp. xix-xx.
19. M. Croarken, Early Scientific Computing in Britain, pp. 119-122.
20. A.M. Turing, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence," Mind, vol. LIX, no. 236, 1950, pp. 443-460.
21. A.M. Turing, "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem," Proc. London Math. Soc., vol. 2, no. 42, 1936, pp. 230-267.
22. M. Armstrong, The Listener,24 May 1951, p. 851.
23. M. Campbell-Kelly, "Programming the Mark I; Early Programming Activity at the University of Manchester," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 2, no. 2, Apr. 1980, pp. 130 and 165.
24. M.V. Wilkes, Memoirs of a Computer Pioneer, MIT Press Series in the History of Computing, B. Cohen, ed., 1985, MIT Press, p. 184.
25. M. Campbell-Kelly, "Programming the Mark I; Early Programming Activity at the University of Manchester," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 2, no. 2, Apr. 1980, p. 145.
26. M. Campbell-Kelly "Introduction," toThe Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer by M. Wilkes, D. Wheeler, and S. Gill, p. xiv.
27. M. Campbell-Kelly, "Programming the EDSAC: Early Programming Activity at the University of Cambridge," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 2, no. 1, Jan. 1980, p. 12.
28. M.V. Wilkes, "Can Machines Think?," The Spectator,10 Aug. 1951, pp. 177-178.
29. "'Memory' in a Mercury Tube," Science News, vol. 5, Penguin, Nov. 1947, pp. 64-66; G. Rabel, "Mathematical Instruments and Calculating Machines," Science News, vol. 7, Penguin, June 1948, pp. 112-124; and S. Byard, "Robots Which Play Games," Science News, vol. 16, Penguin, June 1950, pp. 65-77.
30. A. Hodges, Alan Turing: The Enigma, p. 440.
31. M.V. Wilkes, Memoirs of a Computer Pioneer, pp. 184-188.
32. H. Carpenter, The Envy of the World: Fifty Years, p. 193.
33. A copy of the BBC transcript of this broadcast is held in the Turing Archive at King's College, Cambridge, as item AMT/B/6. The text is available online at http://www.turingarchive. org/browse.php/ B6 and has been published in B.J. Copeland's "A Lecture and Two Radio Broadcasts on Machine Intelligence by Alan Turing," Machine Intelligence, vol. 15, K. Furukawa, S. Michie, and S. Muggleton, eds., pp. 465-476. The broadcast is also discussed by Copeland here on pp. 453-458 and by A. Hodges, Alan Turing: The Enigma, pp. 450-452.
34. Turing archive, item AMT/D/5, http://www.turingarchive.org/browse.php/ D5.
35. For a biographical note about Strachey, see M. Campbell-Kelly, "Christopher Strachey, 1916—1975: A Biographical Note," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 7, no. 1, Jan. 1985, pp. 19-42.
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