Monday, June 17, 2024

Did Alan Turing Have Autism

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Evidence Of Repetitive/restrictive And Obsessive Interests:

Did Allen Turing have Aspergers and why is it Awesome?| PsychFlix (The Imitation Game)

Its hard to know where to start when it comes to Turings repetitive, restrictive and obsessive behaviours, as there are so many to choose from! We could go big, like with his love for deciphering and decrypting code or, we could go for the small traits, like how he had to have an apple at the end of every day.

Personally, I dont think it matters where you start , but for the most clear-cut evidence of an autistic compulsion in Alan Turing, I would point to Turings love of running.

This is because, whilst Turing did have many an obsession in his life , Turings running unquestionably fits the profile for autistic behaviour as he often said that he ran with no purpose, not for health, not for victory, just because. Thats not to say he didnt have a purpose though, as when pressed by those closest to him, Turing would on occasion state that he ran to make his brain quiet a textbook example of autistic stimming.

Stimming: Repetitive self-stimulating behaviour often involuntarily used by autistic people to regulate emotion.

But does an inability to connect immediately make someone autistic, or could Turing have just been a little awkward? Similarly, does the need to blow off steam from a very demanding position indicate that Turing had spectrum identity or was running no different to switching on Netflix and switching off after a long day?

Was The Father Of Theoretical Computer Science And Artificial Intelligence Autistic A Review Of The Imitation Game

Considered the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Turings idiosyncrasies have led some historians to speculate that he may have had Aspergers syndrome.

Editors Note: Aspergers syndrome is a previously used diagnosis which was under the autism spectrum. As of 2013, Aspergers Syndrome became part of a broader category autism spectrum disorder.

By Nils Skudra

Last night I celebrated my birthday by watching The Imitation Game, a 2014 biographical film about Alan Turing, an eccentric British mathematician who played a pivotal role in aiding the Allied war effort during World War II through his breaking of the Enigma code.

Considered the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence, Turings idiosyncrasies have led some historians to speculate that he may have had Aspergers syndrome, and watching the film I felt that its portrayal lent significant plausibility to this theory. Therefore, I decided that this merited a film review in which the case could be made for Turing having Aspergers syndrome.

This leads Turing to reminisce about his time in boarding school, when he was severely bullied for his eccentricities, which included arranging the carrots and peas on his plate separately because of their divergent colors, another trait often found among individuals with Aspergers syndrome.

Carry On The Conversation:

Do you think its important for the autistic community to post diagnose historys greatest figures ? Let me know in the comments below. And, if you would like to read about another historical icon who is almost certainly on the autistic spectrum, then check out this article Why Santa Is Autistic .

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Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.

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Autism In The Imitation Game

Greetings Earthlings!

This week Id like to have a look at the depiction of autism in the 2014 historical drama The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.

So whats the film about?

Based on a true story, The Imitation Game follows computer scientist and mathematician Alan Turing during World War II as he works together with a group of code breakers to decrypt the German cipher machine Enigma, successfully intercepting key messages for British Intelligence. In designing his own computer to decrypt the messages, Turings efforts allowed the allies to win a number of key battles in the war, with experts estimating that the war was shortened by as many as 2 years saving 14 million lives.

A trailer for the film can be found here:

Now this film isnt strictly about autism, but as Alan Turing is widely believed by scholars to have had Aspergers syndrome, its worth looking into the portrayal of Turing on the big screen.

So how did The Imitation Game fare?

On the other hand, Turings intellect does further perpetuate the stereotype of the autistic genius, however, as in the case of Mozart and the Whale , its hard to downplay a historical figure that is in fact a genuine genius We just need to get Hollywood on board with showing us a more diverse range of autistic characters in fiction films

All in all, its a really interesting biopic and worth a watch to while away the lock-down blues

Hope you enjoyed this post dear Earthlings!

Celebs Who Have Kids With Aspergers


Famous comedian D.L. Hughleys son, Kyle Hughley, has Aspergers.

When Kyle Hughley was a child, doctors diagnosed him with Aspergers syndrome. At times, D.L. Hughley has seriously discussed how that disorder has affected Kyles life. For example, in 2015 D.L. spoke with pride about Kyle graduating from college during an Oprah: Where Are They Now segment. After talking about his sons education, D.L. briefly spoke about Kyles day-to-day life and then he got emotional as he told a touching story.

source: The Things

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Movies About Autism Or Aspergers

While researching celebrities with Aspergers Syndrome, we realized quite a few famous movies have been made based on people with Aspergers or Autism. Here are a handful to note:

  • The Accountant
  • discusses a popular movie called The Accountant Aspergers plays a key part in this film about an accountant with Aspergers Syndrome
  • The Social Network
  • Many people asked Does Mark Zuckerberg have Aspergers after watching this movie about the creation of Facebook. The Autism Support Network said: It quickly becomes clear that the character has something on the autistic spectrum, most likely Aspergers syndrome, when referring to Zuckerbergs character in the movie.
  • Mozart and the Whale
  • Based on the life of author and public speaker, Jerry Newport, this is a love story about a man with Aspergers Syndrome.
  • Man on the Moon
  • A film based on the life of famous Aspie entertainer Andy Kaufman. The main role is played by actor Jim Carrey.
  • Parenthood
  • In season 5 of Parenthood, popular character Hank finds out he has Aspergers while reading a book to relate to Maxs Aspergers. Does Max Burkholder have Aspergers? He plays the young character Max Braverman, who does, but the star does not have Aspergers in real life. What about Hank who is played by Ray Romano in this popular TV show. Does Ray Romano have Aspergers? Not in real life.
  • The Office
  • Pattern Formation And Mathematical Biology

    Although published before the structure and role of DNA was understood, Turing’s work on morphogenesis remains relevant today and is considered a seminal piece of work in mathematical biology. One of the early applications of Turing’s paper was the work by James Murray explaining spots and stripes on the fur of cats, large and small. Further research in the area suggests that Turing’s work can partially explain the growth of “feathers, hair follicles, the branching pattern of lungs, and even the left-right asymmetry that puts the heart on the left side of the chest.” In 2012, Sheth, et al. found that in mice, removal of Hox genes causes an increase in the number of digits without an increase in the overall size of the limb, suggesting that Hox genes control digit formation by tuning the wavelength of a Turing-type mechanism. Later papers were not available until Collected Works of A. M. Turing was published in 1992.

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    He Refused To Let A Punishment Of Chemical Castration Stop Him From Working

    The punishment for homosexuality was chemical castration, a series of hormone injections that left Turing impotent. It also caused gynecomastia, giving him breasts. But Turing refused to let the treatment sway him from his work, keeping up his lively spirit.

    He dealt with it with as much humor and defiance as you could muster, Hodges said. To his close friends, it was obvious it was traumatic. But in no way did he just succumb and decline. He really fought back by insisting on continuing work as if nothing had happened.

    He openly talked about the trial, even in the macho environment of the computer lab. He mocked the laws absurdity. In defiance, he traveled abroad to Norway and the Mediterranean, where the gay rights movements were budding.

    Homosexuality was considered a security risk at the time, and the conviction cost Turing his security clearance. That was a harsh blow, and Hodges believes that when he was restricted from leaving the country anymore, it ultimately led Turing to suicide.

    After hed been revealed as gay in 1952, he couldnt do any more secret work, Hodges said. It would have been hard to accept that he was not trusted.

    University And Work On Computability

    Was Alan Turing Autistic – The Imitation Game Premiere Interviews

    After Sherborne, Turing studied as an undergraduate from 1931 to 1934 at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was awarded first-class honours in mathematics. In 1935, at the age of 22, he was elected a Fellow of King’s College on the strength of a dissertation in which he proved the central limit theorem. Unknown to the committee, the theorem had already been proven, in 1922, by Jarl Waldemar Lindeberg.

    In 1936, Turing published his paper “On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem“. It was published in the Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society journal in two parts, the first on 30 November and the second on 23 December. In this paper, Turing reformulated Kurt Gödel‘s 1931 results on the limits of proof and computation, replacing Gödel’s universal arithmetic-based formal language with the formal and simple hypothetical devices that became known as Turing machines. The Entscheidungsproblem was originally posed by German mathematician David Hilbert in 1928. Turing proved that his “universal computing machine” would be capable of performing any conceivable mathematical computation if it were representable as an algorithm. He went on to prove that there was no solution to the by first showing that the halting problem for Turing machines is undecidable: it is not possible to decide algorithmically whether a Turing machine will ever halt. This paper has been called “easily the most influential math paper in history”.

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    Early Computers And The Turing Test

    Between 1945 and 1947, Turing lived in Hampton, London, while he worked on the design of the ACE at the National Physical Laboratory . He presented a paper on 19 February 1946, which was the first detailed design of a stored-program computer.Von Neumann‘s incomplete First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC had predated Turing’s paper, but it was much less detailed and, according to John R. Womersley, Superintendent of the NPL Mathematics Division, it “contains a number of ideas which are Dr. Turing’s own”.

    Although ACE was a feasible design, the effect of the Official Secrets Act surrounding the wartime work at Bletchley Park made it impossible for Turing to explain the basis of his analysis of how a computer installation involving human operators would work. This led to delays in starting the project and he became disillusioned. In late 1947 he returned to Cambridge for a sabbatical year during which he produced a seminal work on Intelligent Machinery that was not published in his lifetime. While he was at Cambridge, the Pilot ACE was being built in his absence. It executed its first program on 10 May 1950, and a number of later computers around the world owe much to it, including the English Electric DEUCE and the American Bendix G-15. The full version of Turing’s ACE was not built until after his death.

    Turings Case Highlights The Subjective Nature Of Autism Diagnosis

    First published in Cracking the Enigma, June 2012

    Its no exaggeration to say that Alan Turing was one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Regarded as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, he also made ground-breaking contributions to the fields of mathematics, chemistry, and biology. Most famously, during World War II, he played a crucial role in cracking the Nazis Enigma code. He was also, its argued, a person with Asperger syndrome.

    Theres something of a cottage industry in outing historical figures with autism or Asperger syndrome. Candidates include Mozart, Einstein, Isaac Newton, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Thomas Jefferson, Andy Warhol. In many cases, it seems, being brilliant at something and having a reputation for social awkwardness is all that it takes for a diagnosis.

    In Turings case, there is at least some more concrete evidence to go on. In a 2003 paper, Henry OConnell and Michael Fitzgerald trawled through Turings biography, looking for anecdotes and descriptions of Turing that would support a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome.

    The authors used the Gillberg criteria for Asperger syndrome a set of six symptoms that must all be present for a diagnosis to be conferred. Turing, they concluded, met all six criteria:

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    People Yearn To Know If Someone Famous Is Autistic Or Has Aspergers

    As part of my research, I was amazed to discover the amount of Google traffic there is of people wondering if a famous person has Aspergers. Here are 40+ examples of the most popular queries. Ill start of the list with common questions about Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, because there is loads of traffic around him:

    Entrepreneurs & Business Leaders With Aspergers

    Was Alan Turing Autistic? What The Father of Modern ...

    Does Bill Gates have Aspergers? The Guardian reported Bill Gates:

    has been described as having autistic-type traits: lack of eye contact, poor social skills, a monotonous voice, a prodigious memory and a tendency to rock backwards and forwards during business meetings.

    How about the famous mind behind SpaceX? Does Elon Musk have Aspergers? This research on neurodiversity says its definitely possible. The article also discusses Steve Jobs Aspergers observations.

    2021 UpdateElon Musk confirmed he has Aspergers while hosting a May 2021 episode of Saturday Night Live. Heres what Musk had to say about his Aspergers when he opened up the SNL show:

    Im actually making history tonight as the first person with Aspergers to host SNL, or, at least the first to admit it, so I wont make a lot of eye contact with the cast tonight. But dont worry, Im pretty good at running human in emulation mode.

    Heres the full list of famous Aspie entrepreneurs/biz leaders I found:

    On September 23, 2020, Computer Weekly reported that the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange:

    is on the autistic spectrum and has a history of depression that would put him at risk of suicide if he is extradited to a US prison

    This information was part of court proceedings from psychiatrists who evaluated Assange before his trial. In September of 2011, Assange talked to the UK Independent about being autistic:

    • Adam Bradford Activist & Entrepreneur

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    Neurodiversity And The Needs Of The Financial Services Sector

    The Future of Jobs 2020 report by the World Economic Forum identified analytical thinking and innovation, critical thinking and analysis, and creativity, originality and value, as the top three skills that are in high demand within the financial services sector. Many of these skills are a natural talent of neurodivergent individuals. Creativity and problem-solving in particular, which are a pre-requisite for innovation, are common strengths amongst all neurodivergent conditions.

    Some companies have already recognised that increasing the neurodiversity of their workforce comes with clear business benefits. Microsoft, SAP, JPMorgan and EY have well-established autism hiring programmes. In July 2021, EY announced the expansion of their Neuro-Diverse Centre of Excellence to the UK whilst Aviva created placements for neurodiverse individuals to work in their UK Data Science teams.

    Through employer education and creation of support to address difficulties that come with being neurodivergent, barriers to meaningful employment can be reduced. Such actions will enable neurodivergent talent to flourish and their unique strengths benefit organisations and the society as a whole.

    Did Alan Turing Have Asperger’s Syndrome

    • Medicine, Psychology
    • Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine
    • 100 Years of Math Milestones
    • 2019
    • View 2 excerpts, cites background
    • 2016
    • View 1 excerpt, cites background
    • Psychology
    • 2011
    • Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine
    • 2006
    • Sociology
    • 2016
    • Computer Science
    • 2011
    • Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine
    • 2006

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    Was Alan Turing Autistic

    Although, many of the autistic traits which have been associated with Alan Turing are largely fictitious, there is still good reason to believe that Alan Turing was indeed autistic. This is evident when Turing is analysed alongside the autism diagnosis criteria from the most up to date diagnostic texts where, in retrospect, its easy to point out evidential traits which pair his behaviours to the condition. For example:

    Government Apology And Pardon

    New Alan Turing £50 note design revealed

    In August 2009, British programmer John Graham-Cumming started a petition urging the British government to apologise for Turing’s prosecution as a homosexual. The petition received more than 30,000 signatures. The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, acknowledged the petition, releasing a statement on 10 September 2009 apologising and describing the treatment of Turing as “appalling”:

    Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can’t put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him … So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan’s work I am very proud to say: we’re sorry, you deserved so much better.

    In December 2011, William Jones and his Member of Parliament, John Leech, created an e-petition requesting that the British government pardon Turing for his conviction of “gross indecency”:

    The petition gathered over 37,000 signatures, and was submitted to Parliament by the Manchester MP John Leech but the request was discouraged by Justice Minister Lord McNally, who said:

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