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"But the problem with reincarnation is that it's hard to imagine what the storage medium for past lives would be. Not to mention the input-output device. I hesitate to rule it out completely, but I'd need pretty definite proof."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Machine (Thinking Machine)  
  A very early reference to a thinking machine in charge of a planet.  

In this story of a future Earth, humanity had all of its needs met by a device - an intelligent machine.

"You have forgotten your history, and you have forgotten the history of the Machine, humans..."

"On the planet Dwranl, of the star you know as Sirius, a great race lived, and they were not too unlike you humans. ...they attained their goal of the machine that could think. And because it could think, they made several and put them to work, largely on scientific problems, and one of the obvious problems was how to make a better machine which could think.

The machines had logic, and they could think constantly, and because of their construction never forgot anything they thought it well to remember. So the machine which had been set the task of making a better machine advanced slowly, and as it improved itself, it advanced more and more rapidly. The Machine which came to Earth is that machine."

From The Machine, by John W. Campbell.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1935
Additional resources -

Below, see humans gathered to sacrifice to The Machine.


(Sacrificing to The Machine)

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Machine
  More Ideas and Technology by John W. Campbell
  Tech news articles related to The Machine
  Tech news articles related to works by John W. Campbell

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