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"The SF approach: an awareness that things could have been different, that this is one of many possible worlds, that if you came to this world from some other planet, this would be a science fiction world."
- Neal Stephenson

Thought Coil (Machine Intelligence)  
  Specially designed hardware that imparts intelligence to machines.  

I have given my master machine intelligence!”

My wide-eyed, questioning stare must have conveyed my thought to him, for he laughed shortly, and said, “No, I’ve not gone insane.”

“It was an accident,” he went on with amazing calm. “My first idea was merely to build something that would reduce the necessary supervisory force to one or two humans. But, when I had almost completed my second experimental model, I found that I was out of the copper filaments necessary to wind a certain coil. I didn’t want to wait till I could obtain more from the stores, and remembered that on the inside of the door to the Death Bath there was some fine screening that could be dispensed with. I used the wire from that. Whether the secret of life as well as of death lies in those waste rays from the sun, or whether some unknown element of the humans consumed in the flame was deposited on the screening in a sort of invisible coating, I do not know. But this I do know: when that second model was finished, and the vitalizing current was turned on, things happened—queer things that could be explained only on the ground that the machine had intelligence.”

“I incorporated my new thought coil, as I called it, in the large master machine. But I don’t know just what will happen when the current flows through that. So I shunted it. The machine will work, routinely, without it. There is a button that will bring it into action. When I shall have taken the proper precautions I will switch it on, and then we shall see what happens.”

From The Revolt of the Machines, by Nat Schachner (w. AL Zagat).
Published by Astounding Stories in 1931
Additional resources -

Compare to the positronic brain from Reason by Isaac Asimov in 1941.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Revolt of the Machines
  More Ideas and Technology by Nat Schachner (w. AL Zagat)
  Tech news articles related to The Revolt of the Machines
  Tech news articles related to works by Nat Schachner (w. AL Zagat)

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