Machines Do Not Equal the Brain
Mind of Mechanical Man. The Lister Oration delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons of England on June 9, 1949. Reprinted from the British Medical Journal June 25, 1949, vol. i, p. 1105.
London: British Medical Association, 1949.
JEFFERSON, Geoffrey. The Mind of Mechanical Man. The Lister Oration delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons of England on June 9, 1949. Reprinted from the British Medical Journal June 25, 1949, vol. i, p. 1105. London: British Medical Association, 1949.
Offprint, reprinted from the British Medical Journal, June 25, 1949, vol. i, p. 1105. Octavo (8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches; 216 x 141 mm). 16 pp.
Publisher's printed paper wrappers. Staple bound. Some mild creasing to wrappers and leaves. Some light sunning to edges of wrappers. Otherwise very good.
Geoffrey Jefferson was an English neurologist and neurosurgeon. He studied wounds to the brain in specimens and began to establish specialized neurosurgery in Britain. "The Society of British Neurological Surgeons was founded in 1926 as a result of his efforts and Jefferson served two terms as its president." (Oxford DNB).
"On June 9, 1949 Sir Geoffrey Jefferson, a neurological surgeon at Manchester, England, delivered a speech entitled The Mind of Mechanical Man in which he discussed the differences between computers and the human brain." (Norman).
Jefferson was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1947. He was awarded the Lister Medal in 1948 for his contributions to surgical science. The corresponding Lister Oration, given at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, was not delivered until 1949, and was titled 'The Mind of Mechanical Man'. The subject of this lecture was the Manchester Mark 1, one of the earliest electronic computers, and Jefferson's lecture formed part of the early debate over the possibility of artificial intelligence." (Wikipedia).
In a time notable for the Alan Turing's famous "Turing test" society was debating the idea of artificial intelligence. "In a 1950 paper, [Turing] began with a clear declaration: 'I propose to consider the question, ‘Can machines think?’' With a schoolboy’s sense of fun, he invented his 'imitation game,' now generally known as the Turing test, to give empirical meaning to that question. Put a machine and a human in a room, he said, and send in written questions. If you can’t tell which answers are from the machine and which are from the human, then there is no meaningful reason to insist that the machine isn’t 'thinking.'" (Time Magazine, "The Price of Genius."Walter Isaacson).
This concept of Turing's was met with much scrutiny and notably we can look to Jefferson's Lister Oration The Mind of Mechanical Man, where he states "“Not until a machine can write a sonnet or compose a concerto because of thoughts and emotions felt, and not by the chance fall of symbols, could we agree that machine equals brain- that is, not only write it but know that it had written it. No mechanism could feel (and not merely artificially signal, an easy contrivance_ pleasure at its successes, grief when its valves fuse, be warmed by flattery, be made miserable by its mistakes, be charmed by sex, be angry or depressed when it cannot get what it wants." These questions raised remain very relevant to this current time with the rise of AI and programs such as ChatGPT.
Garrison and Morton. Norman Library.