Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (unknown)
|Abstract||the development of machines with motor, perceptual and cognitive skills once found only in animals and humans. The field parallels and has adopted developments from several areas, among them mechanization, automation and artificial intelligence, but adds its own gripping myth, of complete artificial mechanical human beings. Ancient images and figurines depicting animals and humans can be interpreted as steps towards this vision, as can mechanical automata from classical times on. The pace accelerated rapidly in the twentieth century with the development of electronic sensing and amplification that permitted automata to sense and react as well as merely perform. By the late twentieth century automata controlled by computers could also think and remember|
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