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In this interesting and informative lecture at the Computer History Museum (CHM) on March 11, 2013, Grady Booch asked and tried to answer this question: ”What does it take to make “sentient” devices (that can feel, sense, think and reason) out of silicon and software?”
But before we can address that question, there are many others that need to be thought about. For example, what does it mean to be intelligent? Is intelligence only in the mind or can it also be computable? Some such as Marvin Minsky believe the mind to be computable; others such as Roger Penrose do not (more about him later in this article). Components of life appear to be common to many species, but sentient life is uncommon.
This week in The Slate Book Review, writer Matthew Kirschenbaum tells the story of what was probably the first novel ever written using a word processor - IBM’s MTST (Magnetic Tape Selectric Typewriter). This brief but insightful article, titled The Book-Writing Machine, gives us a glimpse of the author, the machine, and the novel at the center of this pleasent little slice of late-1960s era computing history.
The Race for Microprocessor Leadership in Silicon Valley: Jan 7, 2012 IEEE Life Member Meeting in Mt View, CA
The microprocessor changed what is now known as Silicon Valley from a mostly agricultural and defense electronics region into a center of innovation for many new technologies. How did that happen and what challenges were faced along the way?
Eden Medina, Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende's Chile
Cybernetic Revolutionaries is a well-researched, insightful historical analysis of utopian computer technology and politics in Chile before, during, and after the brief presidency of Slavador Allende. Eden Medina situates the history of technology in a national framework to integrate topics and approaches from economic policies to cybernetics and managerial ideology, international relations, and biography.
This Thursday, Oct 25th was a huge event day at the CHM in Mt View, CA. The week included a number of important events and milestones:
1. There were 5 different venue rental events on Oct 25th, including Day One of the Rusnano Conference; Day Two of the Internet Identify Conference; a Symantec theme party; a K&L Gates meeting, and the University of Texas.
2. There was also a Quarterly CHM Board of Trustees meeting.
3. Thursday is a "open to the public" day for the CHM's flagship Revolution exhibit. There were over 1,100 visitors were at the museum- quite a bit for a work day.
Histories of the Internet – Call for Papers
This is a call for papers for a special issue of Information & Culture: A Journal of History (Volume 50, Issue 1, February-March 2015). For the latest and most complete information on the special issue please see www.sigcis.org/InternetIssue.