Pioneers on the air: BBC radio broadcasts on computers and A.I., 1946-56.
In: 6th International Colloquium of ACONIT (Association pour un Conservatoire de l'Informatique et de la Telematique, 25-27 Nov 2002, Grenoble, France.
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Between 1946 and 1956, a number of BBC radio broadcasts were made by pioneers in the fields of computing, artificial intelligence and cybernetics. Although no sound recordings of the broadcasts survive, transcripts are held at the BBC's Written Archives Centre at Caversham in the UK. This paper is based on a study of these transcripts, which have received little attention from historians.
The paper surveys the range of computer-related broadcasts during 1946–1956 and discusses some recurring themes from the broadcasts, especially the relationship of 'artificial intelligence' to human intelligence. Additionally, it discusses the context of the broadcasts, both in relation to the BBC and to contemporary awareness of computers.
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