" I sometimes suspect that we're seeing something in the Internet as significant as the birth of cities. It's really something new, it's a new kind of civilization."
In the novel, the computer called Mike takes the part of the leader in a lunar revolution - Adam Selene. As a computer, Mike can handle innumerable phone calls about the revolution without danger to the human participants. Eventually, it becomes necessary for Mike to show himself.
As far as I know, this is the first reference to the idea of a computer-generated person that presents a fully animated picture of a human being.
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