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"did I had an extremely expensive wife - she would see a new car that she liked and just buy it... under California law I was bound to buy her debts. I think I turned out 16 novels in five years."
- Philip K. Dick

Living Machines  
  Robots that are able to learn.  

An interesting early treatment of the distinction between automated machinery and mechanisms that are capable of learning.

"Man is not a machine in the purely mechanical sense, though many of his functions are demonstrably mechanical. The ability to reason, however it has evolved, whatever it may be at bottom, whether a bewildering complexity of reflex actions or not, lifts man above the dignity of a machine. Does this imply the impossibility of creating machines (mechanical brains) that can profit by experience, go through the processes which we call thought? No; but it does imply that such machines (however created) are no longer mere mechanisms. There is here a dialectical process to be reckoned with. Machines that 'learn' are living machines."

Living machines ! I mouthed that phrase over and over to myself and mouthing it I looked at the cylinders with increasing dread. They were machines.

Technovelgy from The Mentanicals, by Francis Flagg.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1934
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