At the heart of this exhibition is the complex relationship between humans and computers. Visitors are encouraged to ponder upon and engage in issues central to computer sciences, first and foremost: will computers outsmart humans one day, and develop true self-awareness?
The first electronic computer was invented 70 years ago, and has since been ingrained in every aspect of our daily lives; so much so, that we sometimes forget to think about the significance of this astonishing device, the scientific principles on which it is based, or ask about its impact on scientific thinking and ideas - now and in the future.
One man who did think about these issues, and asked these important questions, was Alan Turing, an English mathematician who, as early as 1936, envisioned the computer and realized its critical significance in our ability to study the inner workings of our mind and consciousness. This philosophical breakthrough has placed computer science at the forefront of modern science, empowering it to study and tackle fascinating challenges.
The CAPTCHA exhibition was designed chiefly for teens and adults, and examines questions central to computer science, including:
In tandem with theoretical questions – and inspired by them – computer scientists also work on developing powerful applications that greatly impact our daily lives: new research methods in all fields of human knowledge; global networks of communication that have revolutionized societies; encryption methods that have made internet banking and online trading possible; medical devices and systems that save lives; and much more.
Israel is a vital hub of research and development in these areas, and CAPTCHA has a dedicated space celebrating the contribution of Israeli scientists in the field.
The work and legacy of Alan Turing - a philosopher and technologist, a mathematician and code-breaker – are ever-present in the exhibition. The man who weaved the principles of computer science into every scientific field he pioneered did not get his due credit and recognition in his lifetime. Now, a centennial after his birth, we can all get to know the man and his myriad contributions to the world as we know it today, as well as the world of tomorrow.
CAPTCHA – an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart" – is a test used to determine whether an online user is a human or a bot. Common CAPTCHAs display a series of letters and numbers that a user then has to submit via a form field.