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"One can see the free software movement as a precusor for a "free hardware" or "free wetware" movement--one that will provide free libraries of designs for biological or nanotechnological products that replicators can be programmed to churn out."
- Charles Stross

Brains  
  An electronic brain that is able to do problem solving. This idea seems to be the impetus behind current artificial intelligence that seeks to solve problems, rather than to simulate human intelligenc  

What is the secret behind a star unique in all the known cosmos?

"Please go on, sir," Darby invited quickly, with a spark of pity for the old man. "I haven't heard the full story of Old Unfaithful. Besides, I have time to kill while Brains wrestles with his homework."

Darby grinned and patted his machine. He was the technician handling the electronic brain that digested all the observatory's cosmic equations. "Brains" clacked and hissed beside him, working madly at the moment on a complex problem of red shifts. While his ingenious mechanical partner labored, Darby was at leisure.


(Artwork showing Brains from The Cosmic Blinker)

"Brains over there ó the electronic brain. He solves every other problem in galactic astronomy, many of them staggering to the human mind. We just feed him the data and he does the rest. Brains can crack the code, I'm sure. Translating the language will be tougher, but he'll do it."

Brains was not a giant computer. It was no more than ten feet wide. But it was packed with mental might. Countless tiny transistors and incredible mazes of synaptic relays and spongy centers of metallic cells added up to a thousand human minds. And Brains had not yet met a celestial riddle that it could not solve within twenty-four hours.

From The Cosmic Blinker, by Eando Binder.
Published by Science Fiction Plus in 1953
Additional resources -

A relatively early example of a computer that can solve specific, complex problems that would challenge even human experts.

Compare to Multivac from Franchise (1955) by Isaac Asimov and the Central Computer from The City and the Stars (1956) by Arthur C. Clarke.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Cosmic Blinker
  More Ideas and Technology by Eando Binder
  Tech news articles related to The Cosmic Blinker
  Tech news articles related to works by Eando Binder

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