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A Mind from Math

Alan Turing foresaw machines’ potential to mimic brains

Arguably, and it would be a tough argument to win if you took the other side, computers have had a greater impact on civilization than any other machine since the wheel. Sure, there was the steam engine, the automobile and the airplane, the printing press and the mechanical clock. Radios and televisions also made their share of societal waves. But look around. Computers do everything TVs and radios ever did. And computers tell time, control cars and planes, and have rendered printing presses pretty darn near obsolete. Computers have invaded every realm of life, from work to entertainment to medicine to education: Reading, writing and arithmetic are now all computer-centric activities. Every nook and cranny of human culture is controlled, colored or monitored by the digital computer. Even though, merely 100 years ago, no such machine existed. In 1912, the word computer referred to people (typically women) using pencils and paper or adding machines.

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