Reasons to be cheerful with special park guest

MP Iain Stewart and Professor Scott Fahlman

MP Iain Stewart and Professor Scott Fahlman

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BLETCHLEY Park recently enjoyed a visit from across the pond from a Professor of Artificial Intelligence.

Professor Scott Fahlman, a family friend of MP for Milton Keynes South Iain Stewart, is Research Professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

MP Iain Stewart and Professor Scott Fahlman

MP Iain Stewart and Professor Scott Fahlman

He was invited by Mr Stewart to visit the home of the codebreakers, Bletchley Park, to see the famous papers of World War Two hero Alan Turing.

Mr Fahlman is research professor of Artificial Intelligence at CMU’s School of Computer Science and is widely known as the inventor of the sideways smiley face emoticon which is commonly used in emails and text messages.

He described Turing as the ‘Patron Saint’ of computer science and he stated that Carnegie Mellon University has a long history with the famous codebreaker, with seven of its faculty members given the prestigious ‘Turing Award’ – the Nobel Prize of computing.

After his tour, Professor Fahlman said: “Every computer scientist has heard of Bletchley Park, Alan Turing and the work done here.

“It’s really exciting that the Turing papers are now collected and on display here.

“This gives people one more reason to make a pilgrimage to Bletchley Park.”

Mr Stewart said: “Scott Fahlman is a personal friend. I am delighted that I was able to arrange for this leading researcher of AI to visit the birthplace of modern computing.”