My ultimate disruptor - Alan Turing

Ahead of our next Virgin Disruptors event in London we've asked our speakers to tell us who their ultimate disruptor is. Kicking things off is Blockchain Co-founder, Peter Smith...

Who’s your ultimate disruptor? Alan Turing.

What made him so disruptive?

Turing was a mathematician and logician who made major contributions to cryptanalysis, philosophy, mathematical biology and also to the areas later named computer science, cognitive science, artificial intelligence and artificial life. He focused his intellect on breaking new ground. He applied his unusual interest in finding a practical use for abstract mathematical ideas to create the foundation of modern day computer science.

What have you learnt from his disruptive behaviour?

I've learned that true disruption must not only advance a discipline or industry, it must have a broader societal reach. In many ways, Turing's approach has served as a blueprint for our company’s ambitions.

Blockchain is happy to be the market leader and an innovator in the nascent field of cryptocurrency, but our ambitions are far larger than that. Our company, which began as a simple idea in 2011 (to make Bitcoin transactions and the Bitcoin economy easier to understand and use) has a greater societal mission: to remedy the current financial industry by building an open, accessible, and fair financial future. Such a system has the potential to provide unparalleled access to a better economic future for billions across the globe.

What will he be remembered for?

Turing is already remembered as the father of modern computing and artificial intelligence. He should be remembered, additionally, as a pioneer in the practical application of math that advanced both society and industry.

How would the world be a different place if he had never existed?

Can you envision industry (or society) absent computing? Neither can I. That’s how profound his disruptions were.

What actions can other people take to be more like Alan Turing?

To think beyond the immediate commercial means of an idea - to think about how it can be used for broader purposes... for the betterment of society.

For 10 per cent off the cost of your Disruptors ticket, use the code Disruptors2016.

To find out more and buy your ticket, head to the Virgin Disruptors pages.


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