Single Idea 7651

[catalogued under 18. Thought / B. Mechanics of Thought / 6. Artificial Thought / a. Artificial Intelligence]

Full Idea

If wonderful machines like Huygens's planetary clock can be made, it would take even more cogs and springs to make a speaking machine, which can no longer be considered impossible, particularly at the hands of a new Prometheus.


Huygens was a great Dutch scientist. Prometheus gave divine knowledge to man.

Gist of Idea

With wonderful new machines being made, a speaking machine no longer seems impossible


Julien Offray de La Mettrie (Machine Man [1747], p.34)

Book Reference

La Mettrie,Julien Offray de: 'Machine Man and Other Writings', ed/tr. Thomson,Ann [CUP 1996], p.34

A Reaction

Compare Descartes in Idea 3614. The idea of artificial intelligence does not arise with the advent of computers; it follows naturally from the materialist view of the mind, along with a bit of ambition to build complex machines.

Related Idea

Idea 3614 A machine could speak in response to physical stimulus, but not hold a conversation [Descartes]