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"Science Fiction is speculative fiction in which the author takes as his first postulate the real world as we know it, including all established facts and natural laws."
- Robert Heinlein

Electrical Brain  
  A mechanism that grants memory an intelligence to machines.  

ASPAR bent over the tnachine and showed me an oblong metal base in the midst of the apparatus. It had about it a vague suggestion of resemblance to the electrical units which I saw stacked up by the thousands in the little building where the lenses had stared at me. Bundles of wires led to this case from all parts of the mechanism. One of my bullets had torn a hole in the cover, exposing thousands of little twisted bars of rusty metal.

"There is the thing,” Kaspar said sadly, pointing to this case, “that betrayed our Garden of Eden, the highest triumph of human ingenuity : the electrical brain!”

“Brain!” I gasped like a fish. “You mean it thinks?” "Yes! Literally! Actually!”

“Aren’t you just trying to fill me up now ?” I had reached what I thought were the limits of credulity.

“It is really very simple,” Kaspar went on, with a patient smile. "You know of many machines in your world that think: a calculating machine or a bookkeeping machine; an automatic telephone exchange; an automatic lathe, and many others. They think, but only on the basis of the present moment. Add to their method experience, that is, retained past perceptions, and you have what we understand ordinarily as thinking.

“Mechanical memory, an association of previously collected perceptions, was what we needed; and when we found them, our machines were able to reason better than we ourselves."

"But how can a machine remember?” I asked the question open-mouthed.

“We discovered a method of storing the electrical visual impulses from the selenium eye, the electrical auditory impulses from the microphone ear, etc., by means of the now familiar retarded oxidation reactions in various metals."

“You mean — what the machine sees or hears is preserved ?” < P> “That is memory, isn't it?” Kaspar said, with infinite patience for my stupid incredulity. “And these stored impressions can be reawakened when desired, repeatedly. The electrical brain remembers better than the human brain. Human ideas come haphazard, by accident; psychologists call it association. In the mechanical brain, all remembered material is systematically indexed.”

“Thinking by electricity! And better than the human product!"

"And each machine is an independent, intelligent individual!"

Technovelgy from Paradise and Iron, by Miles J. Breuer.
Published by Amazing Stories Quarterly in 1930
Additional resources -

It's starting to deviate from paradise:

“Only a few of us old men have seen the danger. We fear these cold brains of steel and electricity without feelings, without sympathy. They have reached a point in their logic where they can perceive that the thousands of us in the City of Beauty are of no real good to them; that in fact we consume too much of their time and energy. It must be plain to them that we are frail and helpless before their mighty strength. It looks, from various indications, that they have begun to decide to throw off their bonds of slavery to us.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Paradise and Iron
  More Ideas and Technology by Miles J. Breuer
  Tech news articles related to Paradise and Iron
  Tech news articles related to works by Miles J. Breuer

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