A Logic Named Joe

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Leinster, Murray (pseud. of William F. Jenkins). "A Logic Named Joe." Astounding March 1946. Rpt. Modern Masterpieces in Science Fiction. Sam Moskowitz, ed. Cleveland: World, 1965. Also rpt. Souls in Metal. Mike Ashley, compiler. New York: St. Martin's, 1977. New York: Jove-HBJ (Harcourt), 1978. Isaac Asimov Presents the Best of Science Fiction Firsts. Isaac Asimov et al., eds. New York: Beaufort, 1984.

A "logic" (what we would call a computer terminal) becomes a self-conscious individual because of a minor mistake on the assembly line. Joe gets the other logics to give people all the data they might want, with amusing results for ML's readers but trouble for the human characters: logics are central to the civilization in the story, and the system can't be disconnected.