Science: A Machine that Thinks

Modern machines can already see, hear, smell and calculate—and one day they may begin to think. Dr. Vannevar Bush, head of Office of Scientific Research and Development, believes that a "thinking" machine (of limited intellectual capabilities) can be built. In the July Atlantic Monthly, he predicts a brain robot that will relieve man of much of the routine spadework of thinking. The machine he envisages is an electronic and photographic contraption which would store facts for ready recall, sort a man's ideas, even organize them logically.

Dr. Bush, the inventor of a better-than-human calculator, M.I.T.'s famed differential analyzer, was impressed by the...