Alan Turing and The Imitation Game

Words by Vanessa Rocha (Our in-house Lexic)

It seems like the British intelligence service is finally seeing the potential in dyslexics, but before you don your James Bond tux and bow tie, you might want to read on. In an article by The Independent, we discover that GCHQ is recruiting 120 “neuro-diverse” intelligence officers. That’s right “neuro-diverse”. This means that anyone with dyslexia and/or dyspraxia may be able to work for the government. So rather than James Bond, you’re more likely to be Q or any of his technical elves.

This new development may be due to the fact that one of the granddaddies of computing was a dyslexic. Who is this granddaddy? He was the one who cracked the German code in World War II. If you know your history, yes, I’m talking about Alan Turing.

Who was this Alan Turing? Well, he was a mathematician, cryptanalyst and a computer scientist. He was born in Paddington, London, on June 23rd 1912, and became one of Britain’s most important mathematicians, in the time of World War II. Turing worked with the government, even before the war; he worked mostly on code breaking. On September 1939 he reported to Bletchley Park, now the most iconic place for code breakers. Here, Turing managed to break Germany’s codes and because of this the war ended at least 2 years early.

After World War II, Turing went on to create the “Turing Test”, which tests a machine to determine how “intelligent” it is. He theory gave was to the he first ever computer chess game which proved computer can “think” like a human, if only in terms of logic.

Now we know this man is very iconic in the mathematics and code breaking worlds, so where is his move? Strangely a movie about his life has been released right around the same time the GCHQ is announcing that they are recruiting 120 dyslexics; coincidence? If you haven’t heard of it the film is called, The Imitation Game, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, and fellow dyslexic, Keira Knightley. It’s already showing in , but if you haven’t seen it, you can watch the trailer above.

The Imitation Game:

Release: 28th November 2014


“Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain’s top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.” (IMDB – Studio Canal)


  • Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Keira Knightley
  • Matthew Goode
  • Rory Kinnear
  • Allen Leech


Words by Vanessa Rocha our resident Lexic (or if you’re a film buff, you might want to check out her review blog Ereimul Reviews).

For more news and views on dyslexia check out The Codpast, the Internet’s first Dyslexia Podcast. Listen Here

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