Saturday, 13 November 2010

Nightmares of Dislocation and Chess

'A chess-playing computer makes its move on sheets printed with a chess-board pattern. The best human players can still beat computers, but possibly not for long: machines are now being programmed to ‘remember’ the consequences of every mistake they have ever made.

The word ‘automation’ is charged with emotion. To some people it brings a dream of new leisure, new skill and new freedom. To others it brings a nightmare of dislocation and shattered patterns of work. For automation denotes nothing less then a sweeping new Industrial Revolution, born of machines that ‘think’.

Others are attempting to design ’biological computers’ that will be able to accept and integrate several kinds of input at once, to display the adaptiveness of a living animal.'

From Machines by Robert O’Brien (1969)


  1. Loving the ornate, handcrafted chess board against the machine.