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"I'm a fairly visual thinker. In doing science, I think in terms of pictures of things happening, and then do the mathematics."
- Gregory Benford

Ilse  
  The first intelligent ship brain.  

I think this is the first example of the intelligent ship brain.

Ilse's designed span exceeded one hundred centuries. And though her brain was iron and germanium doped with arsenic, and her heart was a tiny cloud of hydrogen plasma, Ilse was one of Earth's creatures...

Ilse's earliest memory was a fragment, amounting to no less than fifteen seconds. Someone, perhaps inadvertently, brought her to consciousness as she sat atop her S-5N booster.

From Long Shot, by Vernor Vinge.
Published by Conde Nast Publications in 1972
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Anybody?

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