Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 11 December 2019

World War Two codebreaker Alan Turing to be face of £50 note

The computer scientist was influential in stopping Nazi Germany’s navy

The Bank of England’s new £50 note will feature the Second World War codebreaker Alan Turing. EPA
The Bank of England’s new £50 note will feature the Second World War codebreaker Alan Turing. EPA

Second World War codebreaker and computer scientist Alan Turing will become the new face of the UK’s £50 (Dh 230) note.

He was selected from a longlist of 989 scientists for his role in developing the electromechanical machine, a forerunner of modern computers, which cracked the Enigma code used by Nazi Germany’s navy.

“Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today,” said Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who made the final decision from a shortlist of 12.

“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as a war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far-ranging and path-breaking. Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”

The £50 note will feature a quote by Turing about the rise of machine intelligence that will say: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

Also on the shortlist was Stephen Hawking, the cosmologist who died last year.

The existing £50 banknote features engineer James Watt and his business partner Matthew Boulton, who developed and marketed the steam engine in the late 18th century.

Expected to enter circulation by 2021, the new note will be the final denomination to make the transition from paper to more durable polymer.

It is the least used and highest-value note printed by the Bank of England.

Updated: July 15, 2019 03:45 PM

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