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On Alan Turing's Anticipation of Connectionism

B. Jack Copeland and Diane Proudfoot
Synthese
Vol. 108, No. 3, Computation, Cognition and AI (Sep., 1996), pp. 361-377
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20117548
Page Count: 17
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Abstract

It is not widely realised that Turing was probably the first person to consider building computing machines out of simple, neuron-like elements connected together into networks in a largely random manner. Turing called his networks 'unorganised machines'. By the application of what he described as 'appropriate interference, mimicking education' an unorganised machine can be trained to perform any task that a Turing machine can carry out, provided the number of 'neurons' is sufficient. Turing proposed simulating both the behaviour of the network and the training process by means of a computer program. We outline Turing's connectionist project of 1948.

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