Computers and Automata. Claude E. Shannon.
Computers and Automata

Computers and Automata

Milano: Editrice La Fiaccola 1954. 115-130 pages. Stapled printed light green printed wrappers, browned at extremities. 18.8 x 23.4 cm (6 5/8 x 9 1/4 inches). Staple impressions to wrappers, pages lightly browned. The offprint issue from Methodos, Vol. 6 (1954), [ no 21-22 ], pp. 115-130. “Reprinted by kind permission of the Author and the Editors from the Proceedings of the I.R.E. October 1953" Near Fine. Wraps. [28144]


First published as one of over forty articles in the famous "IRE Computer Issue." The first separate edition was in the Bell Telephone System Monograph series. It was later reprinted (as here) in Methodos (1954, Vol 6., pp 115-130) but without the sample checker program game and notes by Strachey. Methodos was a quarterly serial issued by the "Centro italiano di metodologia e analisi del linguaggio" [Italian Center for Language Methodology and Analysis] and survived from 1949-1964, 16 volumes, Numbers 1 thru 62. (OCLC Acc#: 1695345)

"This paper reviews briefly some of the recent developments in the field of automata and nonnumerical computation. A number of typical machines are described, including logic machines, game-playing machines and learning machines. Some theoretical questions and developments are discussed, such as a comparison of computers and the brain, Turing's formulation of computing machines and von Neumann's models of self-reproducing machines." (summary, p 130).

Alonzo Church in his review of this article in The Journal of Symbolic Logic (Vol 19) notes: "This is an excellent descriptive non-technical article..."

Provenance: From the files of Claude E. Shannon (unmarked).

Literature: Hook and Norman, "Origins of Cyberspace" #885 (referring to the special Computer Issue). Sloane and Wyner, "Claude Elwood Shannon Collected Papers" #82

Price: $150.00

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