In 1936, British mathematician Alan Turing would publish one of the most important papers in the history of technology. Now recognized as the foundation of computer science, Turing invented the idea of a ‘Universal Machine’ which could decode and perform any set of instructions it was given. Ten years later, he would turn those plans into a plan for an actual electronic computer.
In 1950, he developed the Turing Test, designed to test a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior in comparison to that of a human. It would become one of the foundations in the philosophy of artificial intelligence.
Turing, who was born on this day in 1912, would go on to pioneer ideas in other areas such as mathematics and theoretical biology, is also known for aiding the British government to help break the codes of the famous German Enigma machine during World War II.
To learn more about Turing, check out these eight things you didn’t know about him.
The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Bridge, the world's highest and longest glass bridge, is set to open in Hunan, China, in July. To assuage the fears of any tourists who may attempt to walk across the bridge which stands nearly 1,000 feet off the ground, the operators invited reporters to test its glass panels with a sledgehammer.
BBC reporter Dan Simmons can be seen in this video carrying out the safety test, hitting a glass panel more than a dozen times with a sledgehammer. While the top level of glass is shattered, the panel itself remained intact, even holding 25 people in a single pane, while they jumped on it.
The bridge, which stretches more than 1,400 feet across two cliffs and can hold 800 people at once, was designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan.
A team of aerospace engineers and product designers from Germany’s Technical University of Munich have been dreaming up an idea for the world’s first vertical takeoff and landing electric jet.
Named the “Lilium Jet,” the two-passenger craft is able to lift off and land on any level space at least 49 feet by 49 feet. According to the team, the craft will be easy to operate due to a fully computer-assisted control system, with already-licensed pilots required to undergo only 20 hours of training before sliding into the flier’s seat.
The Lilium Aviation craft will hold a top speed of 250 mph and can travel up to 300 miles on a single charge. The project is partly funded by the European Union and is backed by the European Space Agency and expect the vessel to roll out in 2018.
Luca Iaconi-Stewart, a San Francisco-based designer, was in an architecture class when he was inspired to begin a massive project: constructing a 1:60 scale model Boeing 777 out of manila folders.
It’s taken him more than eight years to complete thanks to distractions like work and college, but after discovering a schematic of an Air India 777-300ER online, the project is now nearing completion.
To see more of his work, check out his YouTube channel.
On June 2, 1954, the Convair XFY-1 Pogo aircraft marked a milestone in aviation as the first aircraft to achieve a vertical takeoff and landing (VOTL).
Using plans captured from the Germans in World War II, the Navy and Air Force began designing the aircraft in 1947 with the goal being a fighter that could protect convoys but not require a large landing area. After giving contracts to Convair, for the Navy, and Lockheed, for the Air Force, the finished planes would earn the nickname “Tail Sitter” due to the fact that resembles fighter planes standing on their tails.
But despite all the effort, the VTOL movement wouldn’t last long with the Pentagon deciding on crafting faster jets and more powerful helicopters instead.
Ingredients thought to be the building blocks of life have been found on a comet by the Rosetta spacecraft.
Rosetta detected the amino acid glycine, along with the essential element phosphorus in the cloud of gas and dust that surrounds Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta has been orbiting the comet since 2014.
The discovery of those building blocks around a comet supports the idea that comets could have played an essential role in the development of life on early Earth, according to researchers at the University of Bern in Switzerland, the principal investigator for the Rosetta mission's ROSINA instrument.
Learn more here.
A fisherman and his friend used some cool drone tech to catch a 44-pound tuna off the coast of New South Wales in Australia.
Jaiden Maclean and his friend Byron Leal located the tuna using a drone and dropping a baited hook directly into the school. Once the tuna would bite, the line would break away from the drone and be able to be reeled in.
“My mate Jaiden has a drone and he was flying it around out the back of our house trying to film turtles,” Leal told Newsweek. “We stumbled across a school of tuna and wondered how we could get our bait out to the tuna and catch them. We were having a few beers and we made up this breakaway rig on the drone and flew the bait out. We dropped it next to the tuna and we got one at the first try.”
On May 5, 1961, America launched its first man into space as Alan Shepard rode the Freedom 7 capsule on a 15-minute suborbital flight to 116.5 miles in altitude and 303 miles downrange to splashdown. Ten years later, at age 47 and the oldest astronaut in the program, Shepard would command the Apollo 14 mission.