“Can Machines Think?” was the cover of Time magazine a generation ago. The impetus was a face-off between world chess champion Gary Kasparov and IBM’s “Deep Blue” chess machine. The first match was won by us humans, but algorithms and hardware won out in the end. The spectacle occasioned wild speculation. “Of course computers can think, after all, humans are just computers made of meat!” said an MIT Computer Science professor. How can anyone who works with both humans and computers, believe that? My colleague, Dr. John Elder, likes to say “He’s from MIT; maybe he’s never worked with humans!”
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