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Article
April 7, 1962

Computers and Common Sense; The Myth of Thinking Machines

JAMA. 1962;180(1):89. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050140091033

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Abstract

"The criticism of science in the 20th century... is somewhat equivalent to criticizing the Roman Catholic Church in the 12th century." During the 20th century science has become the most sacred of all the cows, sacred because "criticism" has been equated with "censorship" (everybody knows that censorship is evil), a cow because it can be milked periodically from the public funds.

Mr. Taube has written 118 pages to document his reasons for writing the last 10 pages. The thesis is: A human being can dig a hole in the ground with his hands; he can also dig it with a shovel, but this does not mean that the hand is a shovel. The hand is similar in some respects to a shovel, but it is not a shovel. The translating machines, learning machines, thinking machines, are all names for nonexistent machines. They are interesting goals, but so is a New

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