The General and Logical Theory of Automata

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von Neumann, John. "The General and Logical Theory of Automata." Paper delivered and discussed at "the Hixon Symposium on September 20, 1948, in Pasadena, California." As of January 2022, essay and following discussion conveniently available on line here[1] and here[2]; in hard-copy: John von Neumann: Collected Works. A. H. Taub, general editor. Vol. V: "Design of Computers, Theory of Automata[,] and Numerical Analysis." Oxford, UK: Pergamon Press 1961: 289-326.[3] Also The general and logical theory of automata (sic on capitalization). In L. A. Jeffress (Ed.), Cerebral mechanisms in behavior; the Hixon Symposium (pp. 1–41). [Hoboken, NJ]: Wiley, 1951.[4]

From the Abstract on the American Psychological Association's PsychNet site (quoted with our thanks): "A general outline of the ideas and trends in the application of artificial automata theory to living organisms and particularly the human central nervous system. The parts or elements of a system are treated as "black boxes" and their properties and functional regularities in combination are discussed." Immediately relevant sections include "Comparisons between computing machines and living organisms, Future logical theory of automata, [...] Formal neural networks, Concept of complication" and "self-reproduction [...]. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)"[5]

RDE, finishing, 25Jan22