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Computers near the threshold

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[opening paragraph]: The notion that it is possible to construct intelligent machines out of nonorganic material is as old as Greek mythology. Vulcan, the lame god of fire, fabricated young women out of gold to assist him in his labours. He also made the bronze giant Talus, who guarded the island of Crete by running around it three times a day and heaving huge rocks at enemy ships. A single vein of ichor (the blood of the gods) ran from Talus's neck to his heels. He bled to death when he was wounded in the ankle or, according to another myth, when a brass pin in his heel was removed.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1996

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