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Bank of England reveals the new face of £50 note as Alan Turing

Computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing will feature on the new £50 note. He is renowned for his code-cracking work with the Allies in World War II. The note will be the last of the Bank of England series to shift from paper to polymer by the year 2021.

Even though there are 344 million £50 notes in circulation, it is one of the least used in daily transactions.

“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as a war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions are far-reaching and path-breaking. Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many stands,” said Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.

Alan Turing helped accelerate Allied efforts to read German Naval messages enciphered with the Enigma machine. He also played a pivotal role in the development of early computers. It will enter the circulation by the year 2021.

It will feature the following:

  • A photo of Turing taken in 1951.
  • A table and mathematical formulae from Turing’s 1936 paper.
  • The Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) Pilot Machine - the first model of Turing’s design and one of the first electronic stored-program digital computers.
  • Technical drawings for the British Bombe, the tool used by the Allies.
  • A quote from Alan Turing.
  • His signature from the visitor’s book at Bletchley Park in 1947.
  • Ticker tape depicting Alan Turing’s birth date (23 June 1912) in binary code, a concept that featured in Turing’s 1936 paper.

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