The Mechanical Turk was a brilliant trick containing multiple optical illusions rather than real technical innovation: a perfect metaphor for many of today's "AI-driven" startups. Foto: Wikipedia Commons.

How to be tech in the tech lash – Ottoman androids and Pseudo-AI

AI and machine-learning are on the verge of becoming meaningless buzzwords and we could be deepening the tech-lash if we as startups are promoting technologies, we have not created yet, advocates COO and founder of legal tech Contractbook.

In the 18th and 19th century The Mechanical Turk a famous android toured Europe and America where it was presented as an automated chess-playing miracle. It replicated a traditional Ottoman sorcerer with robes, turban, and a pipe, and appeared to have an almost magical mechanism that enabled it to play a solid game of chess against any opponent. Obviously, such a thing attracted huge crowds and the hype was only enhanced when it out-smarted historical figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin.

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