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April 14, 2009

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ByJane

Grok.

Anthony

I weigh in:
"Robot" is derived from the Early 20th C Czech playwright Karl Capek and his play "R.U.R." which--roughly--translates as "Rossum's Universal Robots" ("robot" being a variation of the czech word for "worker"). Not surprisingly, the play ends with robots taking over the world,and, in a sentimental but powerful ending, the robots "discover" their humanity, thus inaugurating the 20th century's love affair with artifical intelligence and the potential for machines becoming "human."

So on behalf of Colossus, the Borg, all Daleks, the Terminator, SkyNet, Omnius, HAL and VIKI, we thank Mr. Capek for your noble vision.

PS--Pam, I'm not sure who exactly coined the term "internet" but it's probably either William Gibson or Neal Stephenson (although I could certainly chamnel my inner-right-wing stooge and repeat--ad nauseum--the calumny that Al Gore claims to have INVENTED the internet)!
But I won't. Because he never said anything approaching that.

pam

@ByJane - not a scientific term but a cool one!

@Anthony - I think Gibson did coin the word 'internet'. Now, I wish someone would coin a new word for 'intranet'. Because 'intra-' sounds so much like 'inter-', everybody who mentions the intranet in emphasizes the second syllable in a self-conscious manner. "InTRAnet."

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