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The mechanical Turk : the true story of the chess-playing machine that fooled the world

Author: Tom Standage
Publisher: London : Allen Lane, 2002.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"On an autumn day in 1769, a Hungarian nobleman, Wolfgang von Kempelen, was summoned to witness a conjuring show at the imperial court of Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria-Hungary. So unimpressed was Kempelen by the performance that he impetuously declared he could do better himself. It was a boast that would change the course of his life." "Six months later his extraordinary mechanical man made his debut. The Turk,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Named Person: Wolfgang von Kempelen; Johann Nepomuk Mälzel; Wolfgang von Kempelen
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Tom Standage
ISBN: 0713995254 9780713995251
OCLC Number: 49784913
Description: xiv, 273 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Contents: The queen's gambit; the Turk's opening move; a most charming contraption; ingenious devices, invisible powers; dreams of speech and reason; adventures of the imagination; the emperor and the prince; the province of intellect; the wooden warrior in America; endgame; the secrets of the Turk; the Turk versus deep blue.
Responsibility: Tom Standage.

Abstract:

The true story of the infamous 18th-century automaton, linking a cast of characters such as Napoleon, Beethoven and Poe. This tale of an early chess-playing machine provides an accessible inroad into  Read more...

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The true story of the Turk, an infamous 18th century automaton, links an unlikely cast of historical characters, from Napoleon, Beethoven and Poe to the pioneers of the computer age.

 
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    schema:reviewBody ""On an autumn day in 1769, a Hungarian nobleman, Wolfgang von Kempelen, was summoned to witness a conjuring show at the imperial court of Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria-Hungary. So unimpressed was Kempelen by the performance that he impetuously declared he could do better himself. It was a boast that would change the course of his life." "Six months later his extraordinary mechanical man made his debut. The Turk, as the automaton became known, was fashioned from wood, powered by clockwork and dressed in a stylish Turkish costume. But, most astonishing of all, it was capable of playing chess." "Part historical detective story, part real-life fairy tale, the mystery of the Turk has assumed a new significance in the computer age, as scientists and philosophers continue to debate the possibility of machine intelligence. To modern eyes, the Turk now seems to have been a surprisingly far-sighted invention. This book tells the story of its remarkable and chequered career."--BOOK JACKET." ;
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