Edison's Eve: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life

Edison's Eve: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life

by Gaby Wood

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

Edison's Eve: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life by Gaby Wood

During the eighteenth century, the inventor Jacques de Vaucanson created a mechanical duck that seemingly could digest and excrete its food. A few decades later, Europeans fell in love with “the Turk,” a celebrated chess-playing machine built in 1769. Thomas Edison was obsessed for years with making a talking mechanical doll, one of his few failures as an inventor. In our own time, scientists at MIT are trying to build a robot with emotions of its own.

What lies behind our age-old pursuit to create mechanical life? What does this pursuit tell us about human nature? In Edison’s Eve Gaby Wood traces the history of robotics, from its most brilliant inventions to its most ingenious hoaxes. Joining lively anecdote with literary, cultural, and philosophical insights, Wood offers a captivating and learned work of science and history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400031580
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/08/2003
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 674,914
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Gaby Wood attended Cambridge University and has been a regular contributor to The Guardian and the London Review of Books. She is the author of a short work of nonfiction, The Smallest of All Persons Mentioned in the Records of Littleness, and is now living in London, where she is a staff writer for The Observer. This is her first full-length book.

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