Computers: They're Catching Up

Ever since the first computer began its ominous whirring, human beings have been hopefully reassuring one another that they still have a big lead over machines in the ability to learn from experience and to make decisions in unfamiliar situations. Last week in Chicago. Purdue University's Professor John E. Gibson, 36, warned the businessmen and scientists assembled for the National Electronics Conference that man's lead over the machine might soon be drastically narrowed. Working together with seven other Purdue professors and 60 graduate students, Gibson is preparing to "mate" an analogue computer, which solves mathematical problems in a flash,...

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