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Alfred Smee Speculates About a Logic Machine that Might Occupy a Space Larger than London


In his book, The Process of Thought Adapted to Words and Language published in 1851 English surgeon and writer Alfred Smee suggested the possibility of information storage and retrieval by a mechanical logical machine operating analogously to the human mind. This was an attempt to produce an artificial system of reasoning based upon neurological principles, which were then primarily a matter of speculation. The problem was that Smee's hypothetical “electro-biological” machine, built out of mechanical parts, which he conceived in generality, but had no way of engineering, or building even in part, might have occupied a space larger than London.

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