Alan Turing and The Imitation Game
His name was Alan Turing. I first heard his name in my cognitive psychology courses at the University of Nebraska. Turing’s ideas about the nature of thought itself led not only to creation of the first computers, but underscore how psychologists understand how our human brains process information. The famous Turing test (highlighted at the end of the film as “the Imitation Game”) makes us think about what thought is and how mental constructs relate to one another. Many computer scientists and social scientists have built upon Turing’s ideas, yet few before or since have made a greater impact on our lives.
That is until last week when I saw “The Imitation Game.” For those who have not yet seen the movie (and I urge you to do so), “The Imitation Game” tells the story of Hut 8, the ultra classified team led by Alan Turing at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire who broke the unbreakable Nazi Enigma code. Except no one knew they broke the code — not until 1996 when the National Security Agency declassified important documents from WWII.
I am of course not being that specific. That is because I want you to see this movie without knowing too much about Turing himself. All I knew coming into the movie was that this film involved Enigma. I am so grateful for that lack of knowledge. It allowed me to watch without bias — exactly as Benedict Cumberbatch’s opening voice over from Turing asks us to.
Now that I have seen this movie, it is my absolute favourite. And did I mention the film score? I am a huge fan of film scores; this is one of the most beautiful scores I have heard in many years with a satisfying complexity and heavy use of both flute and piano.
In a word: beautiful!