Giant Brains, or Machines That Think

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Berkeley, Edmund. Giant Brains, or Machines That Think. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, 1949.

From the Wikipedia entry:

He became famous in 1949 with the publication of his book Giant Brains [...], in which he described the principles behind computing machines (called then "mechanical brains", "sequence-controlled calculators", or various other terms), and then gave a technical but accessible survey of the most prominent examples of the time, including machines from MIT, Harvard, the Moore School, Bell Laboratories, and elsewhere.

In Giant Brains, Berkeley also outlined a device which some have described as the first "personal computer", Simon. Plans on how to build this computer were published in the journal Radio Electronics in 1950 and 1951. Simon used relay logic and cost about $600 to construct. The first working model was built at Columbia University with the help of two graduate students.[1]

In his discussion of John von Neumann vs. Alan Turing "on the question of whether machines could think" (in Darwin Among the Machines: The Evolution of Global Intelligence), George B. Dyson praises Giant Brains as "factual and informative" but notes that Berkeley "captured the mood of the time with his declaration that 'a machine can handle information; it can calculate, conclude, and choose; it can perform reasonable operations with information. A machine, therefore, can think.' Von Neumann never subscribed to this mistake" about AI/machine intelligence (Berkeley p. 5; quoted Dyson p. 108).

RDE, finishing, 3Feb22