Moxon’s Master: Unearthing the Ancestral Ties to Today’s AI Debates

Published in 1899, “Moxon’s Master” by Ambrose Pierce is strikingly relevant today with its exploration of artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and robotics.

The story revolves around a conversation between the narrator and his friend, Moxon, who’s invented a chess playing automation. It explores the then-far out idea of machines exhibiting intelligent behavior.

The quick read poses profound questions about the nature of consciousness, autonomy, and the relationship between creator and creation.

Industrial Automation in 1899

When Moxon’s Master was published, automation primarily consisted of mechanical and rudimentary methods that are vastly different from today’s technologies.

Plot Details

The story begins with a philosophical discussion about the nature of matter and life. Discussing whether a machine could ever be considered a living entity, Moxon argues mechanical and human actions fundamentally the same.

Moxon’s take: “What is a machine? The word has been variously defined. Here is one definition from a popular dictionary: ‘Any instrument or organization by which power is applied and made effective, or a desired effect produced.’ Well, then, is not a man a machine? And you will admit that he thinks – or thinks he is.”

This is alarming to the narrator, who says, “It was not altogether pleasing, for it tended to confirm a sad suspicion that Moxon’s devotion to study and work in his machine-shop had not been good for him. I knew, for one thing, that he suffered from insomnia, and that is no light affliction.”

Moxon introduces the narrator to his chess-playing automation invention. Despite its mechanical nature, the automation unsettles the narrator with its skill and apparent insights.

The game becomes increasingly tense, culminating with the automation attacks and kills its inventor in a fit of frustration. The narrator flees, ending the story with ambiguity about the incident.

An official investigation pins the cause on an electrical experiment gone awry, but the true nature of Moxon’s demise and sentience are up to the reader’s interpretation.

Download the .pdf

Featured Videos

Digital twins are everywhere.

The virtual replicas of physical entities are revolutionizing industries from manufacturing to healthcare to urban planning with their advanced simulation capabilities.

Let's examine how we got here and where we may be heading.

Emerging from the aerospace and automotive industries, digital twin technology is now gaining popularity across sectors. The virtual replicas of real-world entities are used for comprehensive simulations, predictive maintenance, and virtual prototyping.

0:17 Alan Turing's Computing Machinery and Intelligence
Though it’s primarily focused on AI, Turing’s paper provides the theoretical and computational foundations necessary to build smart, data-driven virtual models of physical assets.

1:06 First Commercial Computer (UNIVAC I)
The UNIVAC, the first commercially produced computer in the United States, is released in 1951. First deployed at the US Census Bureau, the UNIVAC I offers a glimpse into the potential of computing to handle vast amounts of data quickly and accurately to solve complex problems.

1:59 Monte Carlo Simulations
Monte Carlo simulations go mainstream around 1952. The experimentation method was initially developed for the Manhattan Project efforts to create an atomic bomb during World War II.

2:10 Development of FORTRAN
In the mid-50s, IBM’s FORTRAN delivers the computational power necessary for early forms of digital modeling and simulations. Its ability to handle large-scale computations and numerical analysis advances technology required for future digital twinning.

2:37 Launch of Sputnik and Advances in Aerospace Simulation
In 1957, the Soviet Union launches Sputnik, touching off the Space Race with the United States that accelerates simulation technology. The pressure pushes scientists to develop superior computer models to predict satellite paths and behavior in space.

3:09 Digital Simulation in Aerospace
In the early 1960s, the aerospace industry begins using digital simulations to design and test aircraft. 

3:22 Introduction of CAD (Computer-Aided Design)
Ivan Sutherland develops Sketchpad for computer-aided design. It revolutionizes the way engineers and designers work by enabling precise digital drawings and models.

3:33 1964 - Jay Forrester Introduces System Dynamics
In 1964, Jay Forrester introduces System Dynamics, a methodology for modeling and simulating complex systems. 

3:57 1970 - Apollo 13 Lunar Mission
In April 1970, the Apollo 13 mission to the Moon almost ends tragically. 

4:16 1982 - Release of Autodesk's AutoCAD
In the early 1980s, CAD software enters the mainstream. 

4:45 Advancements in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Systems
Throughout the 1990s, PLM platforms integrate various tools and processes, including CAD, to ensure consistency and accuracy of data and enhanced communication across departments.

5:21 Dr. Michael Grieves Coins the Term "Digital Twin"
In 2002, Michael Grieves introduces the concept of the digital twin at a Society of Manufacturing Engineers conference in Michigan.

5:47 NASA's Strategic Roadmap for Digital Twin Technology
In 2010, NASA develops a strategic roadmap for digital twin adoption for future missions.

6:09 Industry 4.0 Concept Introduced
The fourth industrial revolution begins in earnest in 2011 as the Industry 4.0 concept is introduced at Germany’s Hannover Messe. 

6:40 General Electric's Digital Twin for Industrial Internet
In 2017, General Electric introduces its digital twin technology for industrial applications.

7:02 Microsoft's Azure Digital Twins Platform
The 2018 launch of Microsoft’s Azure Digital Twins platform accelerates adoption with a comprehensive cloud-based service. 

7:25 COVID-19 Pandemic Accelerates Digital Twin Adoption
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies, including digital twins, as companies seek to mitigate the disruptions in their operations, supply chains, and workforces.

7:37 Siemens Xcelerator Platform
Siemens introduces its Xcelerator platform in 2021.

8:00 NVIDIA Omniverse Platform
NVIDIA’s Omniverse platform, introduced in 2023, integrates AI, simulation, and photorealistic visualization technologies

8:20 Manufacturers Embrace the Industrial Metaverse
Heading into the mid-2020s, manufacturers warm up to the industrial metaverse. 

8:35 2030s - Digital Twins Become More Intelligent and Autonomous

9:11 2040s - Synthetic Holos Replace Digital Twins


#digitaltwin #digitaltransformation #industry40 #singularity #artificialintelligence #ai #machinelearning #robotics #humanoid #humanoidrobot #humanoidrobots #digitalthread #plm #digitalengineering #cad #3d #bigdata #blockchain #iiot #4ir #manufacturing #digitaltwins #futuretechnology #futuretech #smartcity #iot #internetofthings #innovation #quantumcomputing #digitalimmortality #transhumanism #simulation

Digital twins are everywhere.

The virtual replicas of physical entities are revolutionizing industries from manufacturing to healthcare to urban planning with their advanced simulation capabilities.

Let's examine how we got here and where we may be heading.

Emerging from the aerospace and automotive industries, digital twin technology is now gaining popularity across sectors. The virtual replicas of real-world entities are used for comprehensive simulations, predictive maintenance, and virtual prototyping.

0:17 Alan Turing's Computing Machinery and Intelligence
Though it’s primarily focused on AI, Turing’s paper provides the theoretical and computational foundations necessary to build smart, data-driven virtual models of physical assets.

1:06 First Commercial Computer (UNIVAC I)
The UNIVAC, the first commercially produced computer in the United States, is released in 1951. First deployed at the US Census Bureau, the UNIVAC I offers a glimpse into the potential of computing to handle vast amounts of data quickly and accurately to solve complex problems.

1:59 Monte Carlo Simulations
Monte Carlo simulations go mainstream around 1952. The experimentation method was initially developed for the Manhattan Project efforts to create an atomic bomb during World War II.

2:10 Development of FORTRAN
In the mid-50s, IBM’s FORTRAN delivers the computational power necessary for early forms of digital modeling and simulations. Its ability to handle large-scale computations and numerical analysis advances technology required for future digital twinning.

2:37 Launch of Sputnik and Advances in Aerospace Simulation
In 1957, the Soviet Union launches Sputnik, touching off the Space Race with the United States that accelerates simulation technology. The pressure pushes scientists to develop superior computer models to predict satellite paths and behavior in space.

3:09 Digital Simulation in Aerospace
In the early 1960s, the aerospace industry begins using digital simulations to design and test aircraft.

3:22 Introduction of CAD (Computer-Aided Design)
Ivan Sutherland develops Sketchpad for computer-aided design. It revolutionizes the way engineers and designers work by enabling precise digital drawings and models.

3:33 1964 - Jay Forrester Introduces System Dynamics
In 1964, Jay Forrester introduces System Dynamics, a methodology for modeling and simulating complex systems.

3:57 1970 - Apollo 13 Lunar Mission
In April 1970, the Apollo 13 mission to the Moon almost ends tragically.

4:16 1982 - Release of Autodesk's AutoCAD
In the early 1980s, CAD software enters the mainstream.

4:45 Advancements in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Systems
Throughout the 1990s, PLM platforms integrate various tools and processes, including CAD, to ensure consistency and accuracy of data and enhanced communication across departments.

5:21 Dr. Michael Grieves Coins the Term "Digital Twin"
In 2002, Michael Grieves introduces the concept of the digital twin at a Society of Manufacturing Engineers conference in Michigan.

5:47 NASA's Strategic Roadmap for Digital Twin Technology
In 2010, NASA develops a strategic roadmap for digital twin adoption for future missions.

6:09 Industry 4.0 Concept Introduced
The fourth industrial revolution begins in earnest in 2011 as the Industry 4.0 concept is introduced at Germany’s Hannover Messe.

6:40 General Electric's Digital Twin for Industrial Internet
In 2017, General Electric introduces its digital twin technology for industrial applications.

7:02 Microsoft's Azure Digital Twins Platform
The 2018 launch of Microsoft’s Azure Digital Twins platform accelerates adoption with a comprehensive cloud-based service.

7:25 COVID-19 Pandemic Accelerates Digital Twin Adoption
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies, including digital twins, as companies seek to mitigate the disruptions in their operations, supply chains, and workforces.

7:37 Siemens Xcelerator Platform
Siemens introduces its Xcelerator platform in 2021.

8:00 NVIDIA Omniverse Platform
NVIDIA’s Omniverse platform, introduced in 2023, integrates AI, simulation, and photorealistic visualization technologies

8:20 Manufacturers Embrace the Industrial Metaverse
Heading into the mid-2020s, manufacturers warm up to the industrial metaverse.

8:35 2030s - Digital Twins Become More Intelligent and Autonomous

9:11 2040s - Synthetic Holos Replace Digital Twins


#digitaltwin #digitaltransformation #industry40 #singularity #artificialintelligence #ai #machinelearning #robotics #humanoid #humanoidrobot #humanoidrobots #digitalthread #plm #digitalengineering #cad #3d #bigdata #blockchain #iiot #4ir #manufacturing #digitaltwins #futuretechnology #futuretech #smartcity #iot #internetofthings #innovation #quantumcomputing #digitalimmortality #transhumanism #simulation

10 2

YouTube Video UExZUkdCOF9hWE80bk5tUTZpWFNfY05naTZ3cmQzWmFSYi4wN0FBRUVFNEVBMTZBQ0Mx

Digital Twin 100-Year Timeline: From Early Simulation Technology to Synthetic Human Integrations

Kalil 4.0 June 10, 2024 5:23 am