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SMEE, Alfred.

The Process of Thought adapted to Words and Language.

Together with a Description of Relational and Differential Machines.

London, Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1851 Stock Code: 140601
£750.00
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Notes

First edition. In this work Smee (1818-1877) considers the implications of whether difference engines, as invented by Babbage, can be considered to be thinking; as such, the work ranks as among the earliest treatises on artificial intelligence. "In his Process of Thought, Smee was the first to suggest the possibility of information storage and retrieval by a mechanical logic machine operating analogously to the human mind, although he recognised that if such a machine could be built in Victorian England, it would probably take up an area larger than London. This is a dramatic example of the feasibility problems posed by mechanical computing devices before the advent of electronics" (Origins of Cyberspace).

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Description

Octavo. Original dark green cloth, spine lettered in gilt, covers panelled in blind, pale yellow endpapers.

Illustrations

With 16 pp. and 32 pp. publisher's catalogues at end. Frontispiece table and numerous diagrams in the text.

Condition

Contemporary ownership inscription to head of title page. Spine ends and tips skilfully restored. Cloth a little rubbed and scuffed, inner hinges starting, book block remaining firm, damp marks to endpapers, light foxing to contents; nevertheless a very good copy.

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