Tag Archives: digital computer origin

Did Benedict Cumberbatch (aka Alan Turing) coin the term “digital computer”?


Did Alan Turing coin the term “digital computer”? There’s a heady set of questions here: when was the modern-day computer invented, and was Turing its father — in its conception, its realization and/or its naming? The movie The Imitation Game, set in England during the Second World War, is all about the British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, mathematical biologist, pioneering computer scientist, and marathon and ultra-distance runner, and it does give us a clue. There’s a significant moment in the movie when Turing (played by the ubiquitous Benedict Cumberbatch) explains to his friend and fellow code-breaker Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley) his theory of computing and his new invention — a machine called Christopher. (Watch the movie to find out the reason for the name, and what exactly Christopher was built to do.) Here’s that moment, and it isn’t really a spoiler:

Continue reading