The Origins Of Cyberspace Up For Auction At Christie's

If you happen to be in NYC on February 23rd, you might want to bid on the amazing items in Christie's The Origins of Cyberspace: A Library on the History of Computing, Networking & Telecommunications.

Here are just a few items from the sale:


(From R.U.R.)

Rossum's Universal Robot
First edition, presentation copy of Karel Capek's play which introduced the word "robot".

Preliminary discussion of the logical design of an electronic computing instrument (1947 - John Von Neumann, Arthur W. Burks and Herman H. Goldstine)
The first published formal conceptual paper on the stored-program computer.

Programming a computer for playing chess
Paper by Claude Shannon; first technical paper on computer chess.

Computing machinery and intelligence
Article in Mind (1950) by Alan Turing, in which he introduces what became known as the Turing test. In this article, he wrote "I believe that in about fifty years' time it will be possible to programme computers with a storage capacity of about 109, to make them play the imitation game so well that an average interrogator will not have more than 70 per cent chance of making the right identification after five minutes of questioning. The original question, 'Can machines think?' I believe to be too meaningless to deserve discussion. Nevertheless I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted".


(From Here's where it started)

Outline of Plans for Development of Electronic Computors
8 page paper by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly (13-Mar-1946). This is the founding document in the electronic computer industry. See the linked article for details; this paper was written five weeks after the unveiling of ENIAC on 14-Feb-1946, after the authors resigned from the University of Pennsylvania in a dispute about patent rights.

As far as I know, the first person to write about a computer chess player is Ambrose Bierce in 1910. Look here if you're curious about the origin of the word 'cyberspace'.

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