TIL of the Turk; the world’s first chess-playing machine. It toured around the world, able to beat almost any individual who played against it, including Napoleon and Benjamin Franklin. A century later, the son of the owner confessed that the Turk was really just a chessmaster hidden inside a box.

Read more: https://www.history.com/news/how-a-phony-18th-century-chess-robot-fooled-the-world

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  1. These days you could build a full-scale working version without a person inside.

    “What does it do?”…”Play chess. And it wins every time.”…”Meh.”

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