Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mechanical Turk

Many of us have used the Amazon Turk to solve problems. Here is an interesting story from about the real original mechanical turk automaton:

The second game returned would be: 'Bonaparte, Napoleon -- Automaton, The Turk, 0-1, 1809'.  Automaton, The Turk was the first chess playing machine.  Of course, it was operated by a little man hidden in a machine. The Turk was  very famous, touring through the whole Europe for decades.  Apparently, there were multiple hidden Turk operators -- the whole succession of strong chess players, who bought and sold the machine to each other.  Allegedly, in the course of one of the games between Bonaparte and The Turk, Bonaparte had started making illegal chess moves.  In a mechanical sort of gesture, The Turk's hand had corrected the emperor's moves twice.   As soon as Bonaparte had moved the same piece to the same illegal position for the third time, The Turk machine allegedly sent the chess pieces flying off the board...



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