MI5 names superspy

15.11.48: MI5 yesterday unveiled its latest agent, Turing.

The quantum supercomputer, the world's most powerful, passed the famed Turing test earlier this year when it fooled a panel of psychologists into thinking it was human during a series of 20-minute text-based conversations.

Hailed as the premier conscious computer, Turing will now work for MI5 intercepting and interpreting communications signals.

Although MI5 has not released Turing's exact specification, it is believed that the system is powerful enough to monitor simultaneously every telephone call and Net message passing through Britain. It will hunt for code words used in calls and will use voice-recognition software to track down criminals. Once potential targets have been found, Turing will be able to monitor their conversations and build up a psychological profile before alerting intelligence officers.

The system will also be used to track international traffic passing through British airwaves. Security experts claim that it will give Britain "the ultimate spy", because Turing can translate and track messages in any language. In addition, Turing's software can break almost every known encryption system used by criminals.

An MI5 source said: "Turing will be constantly learning about foreign nations and their activities and, as it learns how each country operates, we hope it will be able to tell us exactly what is going on around the world and how it might affect us." MP

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