A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human. – Alan Turing
It bothers us, why is it so is it? but yet it inspire us. Where we came from, and what is our existential significance. Is nature so complex that we can’t comprehend it fully? Are these equations that govern nature are unreachable to human? or contrastingly, does nature works on the very subtle ways with just some simple formulas? The past experience of the scientists and their theories tells us that they believe in complex natural structure. And even more, they support complex equations governing it fundamentally. There are many thinkers, scientists, and philosophers who oppose this idea. These non-radical thinkers assert that nature may have been governed by very simple and basic laws. And beneath, these simple laws conjugate to form complex structures of nature.
Y= m X + C
But how can such simpler and the basic building blocks assembled to form a wonder of creations which we see around us? Truly, this is the most intriguing questions we can ask to ourself. We may argue that the answer is beyond the realm of physics, but the concept is slowly changing with time. For the first time, science has left behind the religion and philosophy to tackle this most intriguing question mankind ever have. To some extent, the fascinating developments in arts and technology have convinced that the simple and the basic components of nature can possibly reorganize to create a whole system and its eternal beauty. Fractals and Google Deep Learning Images are very good examples of these structures. Now, what if same goes with the gigantic universe? What if there are no such bizarre equations which are expounded as a basic principle of nature since very long?
Some experimental evidence support that the simpler things can combine unanimously to form the exquisite with no purpose and reason, with no future, and without caring of the past. It can be inferred that the same laws which make the universe chaotic and unpredictable can combine the dust to give life and organism. It can also be assumed that there is a strange and unpredictable relation between order and chaos – SECRET LIFE OF CHAOTIC WORLD. The graceful nature, it’s regulation, and the metabolism is the most confusing and mind shaking of all. The phenomenal structures which give rise to the vast organism and life never repeat again exactly in a similar manner as it evolved before.
He invented the many of the modern ideas that underpin the modern computer science. Turing test made a significant contribution to the debate regarding Artificial Intelligence(AI) and it’s future. His invention of LU(Lower Upper) decomposition method is even used today for solving matrix equations. Some say that the Apple company’s logo is an attribute to him with a bite in Apple referring to his suicide – he was an apple lover. Today every person operating computer should be thankful to him because of his extraordinary work on the modern computer. He also worked as a code breaker for STATION-X during the Second World War to crack the German military code. His ability of code breaking was the outcome of his great sense to see the patterns.
He strongly believed that there could be some mathematical basis for the biological world, such as the ability to think and the intelligence – no one had thought in that perspective before him. He had a very personal reason for this thought, the death of his young friend Christopher Morcom. He was a gay and was emotionally disturbed by his friend’s death. He believed that there could be a mathematical explanation for his emotions and the feelings that he had for his partner. So he put this into an intellectual concept, a very scientific context. He starting asking himself what happens to our mind that gives such an emotional breakdown. Later, he convinced himself that there should be a mathematical explanation for genetic combination, and ultimately to an intelligent mind. The concept that is a basis for the formation of modern AI.
His idea gave rise to a mathematical process that could explain the mysterious process in the embryo – morphogenesis. In this process, at first, all the cells in the embryo are identical, and after some duration, they unite together to become different from each other. How does this happen? How do they combine together and give rise to different organs? such as skin, eye, lips etc and even without any thoughts and central coordination. Morphogenesis is a spectacular example of self-organization and before Turing, no one had thought about it. He published a paper on morphogenesis and shook the whole world. He adopted the simpler equations used in astronomy and atomic physics to explain this phenomenon. For the first time, his equations explained the features of self-organization. The process which could give rise to a complex structure, so as some simpler equation does.
When these simpler equations combine, the complexities arises and so the beautiful pattern also starts to form. It happens in the natural world as well – the formation of the patterns of sand in sea shore, the pattern of sand or ice of mountain. In many ways, it was really unexpected. This shape formed has no sense of the part from which they have evolved. Turing also figured out the mathematical basis for the formation of patterns in cow and in many other animals. Although Turing equations could not figure out the exact process of morphogenesis and the combination of DNA, he tried to explain that whatever is going out there is a simple mathematics underneath. The combination of simpler mathematics can give rise to structure and patterns – the idea that truly becomes a revolutionary one for the upcoming generations.
His equations had also predicted for the oscillating chemical reaction, also known as Belesove Oscillating chemicals (Z=Z*Z+C – simple iterative equation, basis for the formation of Mandelbrot complex pattern). His work was truly a groundbreaking research in the biological science, something that was not even explained by Darwin. Darwin never explained about pattern formation but he had said that once a pattern is formed, it is transported to DNA and then to generations. But Turing, on the other hand with his principle of self-origination, explained Darwin’s claim with remarkable success. Besides, he was also interested in Fibonacci number(1,1,2,3,5,8…) in phyllotaxis. A pattern of numbers having a beautiful collision with biology – who could have thought about that in early 20th century.
We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done – Alan Turing
The whole idea presented above tries to expound the chaos and the chaotic organization of simpler things forming complex and beautiful structures. To be more familiar with chaos, let us imagine a dark room with two opposite side having a mirror wall in each. Now lit a candle and hold it upright in your hand. Obviously, you will see yourself as well as candlelight image in the mirrors. Now move the burning candle and again see the image formed on the both the mirror walls, obvious but surprisingly you will see complex images of yourself and the candlelight on the mirror walls. This is how the chaos work, starting with a simpler image – a burning candle, and a small movement bringing a vast difference and complexities. This effect is called the butterfly effect.
The chaos has a different height in today’s world where an intelligent computer is evolving superior to human mind. Supercomputers, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and machine learning is taken to a whole new level by tech giants such as Google, Facebook, IBM etc. It was all started with some iterative chemicals and Turing’s paper. It evolved to digital fractals and now it can create structures, patterns and much more. It is undeniable fact that AI is tomorrow and astonishingly it was conjectured by a man who lived in an era of pen and papers.
The article is based on the documentary “The Secret Life of Chaos” developed by BBC and narrated by Dr. Zim Al-Khalii.