Chapter 1: Artificial Intelligence Envisioned


What is now proved was once only imagined. (Blake)

Ancient Anticipations

The first to imagine artificial intelligence, it seems, were the ancient Greeks.  The possibility is imagined as early as Homer's Iliad.   Seeking armor for her son Achilles, his mother, the godess Thetis, visits the compound of Hephaestos, god of the forge.   There she encounters, "golden handmaids also who worked for him, and were like real young women, with sense and reason, voice also and strength, and all the learning of the immortals; these busied themselves as the king bade them" (Chapter 18: 321-3).  There is also the story of Talus,