Art tries to pass the Turing test

James Capper DARLING DEAR MY HEART YEARNS FOR YOUR THIRST. MY IMPATIENT EAGERNESS PASSIONATELY YEARNS FOR YOUR APPETITE. MY DESIRE ATTRACTS YOUR SYMPATHETIC LONGING. YOU ARE MY SEDUCTIVE SYMPATHY. MY PRECIOUS WISH. YOURS CURIOUSLY Advertisement MUC This was one of a number of enigmatic notes pinned to the computing department noticeboard at the University of Manchester, UK, back in August 1953. There was no great mystery about “MUC”, however: that could only be “Manchester University Computer”, the world’s first commercial programmable electronic computer. Designed to work on atomic bombs, X-ray crystallography and other serious science, what business had this Ferranti Mark 1 writing love letters? The answer, of course, was a gifted, under-occupied programmer. It was both perverse and predictable that just five years after the birth of the modern…

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