Happy Birthday Alan Turing! How Modern Technology Could Win WWII In 13 Minutes

DevNull127 writes: A grateful reporter whose father-in-law liberated a concentration camp after D-Day reports on a high-tech team that “accomplished in 13 minutes what took Alan Turing years to do — and at a cost of just $7.”

“In late 2017, at the Imperial War Museum in London, developers applied modern AI techniques to break the ‘unbreakable’ Enigma machine used by the Nazis to encrypt their correspondences in World War II.”

Two Polish co-founders of a company called Enigma Pattern decided to honor Alan Turing’s ground-breaking work at Bletchley Park, where Turing had automated the testing of over 15 billion possible passwords each day by building what’s considered the first modern computer. They took the problem to a modern cloud infrastructure provider, renting what one describes as “2,000 minions that do the tedious work” — specifically, crunching 41 million combinations each second — using Grimm’s Fairy Tales to train an algorithm to recognize when they had found a commonly-used German word (including familiar bedtime stories like Hansel & Gretl and Rumpelstiltskin). “In the end the AI could not understand German. But it did what machine learning does best: recognize patterns.”

“After 13 minutes of minion work, boom! The new Bombe had broken the code.”

Turing’s birthday is Saturday — and it’s nice to see him being remembered so fondly.

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