[ Jocelyn Ireson-Paine's Home Page | Publications | Dobbs Code Talk Index | Dobbs Blog Version ]

Ode on the Automation of Imbecility

Halfway between the 1956 Dartmouth Conference that founded AI, and the 1958 National Physical Laboratory symposium on the mechanisation of thought processes, this poem by Hazel Townson in The Pick of Punch for 1957:

I turn a handle twice an hour
That sets a lever free
That pokes a fire that stokes a power
That runs a factory.

I've simple tastes; I don't complain.
In fact I'm proud to know
They'll need an Electronic Brain
To do it when I go.