Moxon's Master

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"Moxon's Master" is a short story by the late 19th-century American author Ambrose Bierce that speculates on the nature of life and intelligence. It describes a chess-playing automaton that murders its creator. First published in the 1893 short story collection Can Such Things Be? (and again in 1909), it is one of the first descriptions of a robot in English literature.

Plot summary[edit]

The master, Moxon, converses with the unnamed narrator. After a thorough discussion about what it is to be "thinking" and "intelligent", the narrator leaves. The narrator returns to Moxon's house later to learn more. He enters and finds Moxon playing chess with an automaton. Moxon wins the game, and the automaton kills him in an apparent fit of rage. The narrator later questions whether what he saw was real.

See also[edit]

Real or hoax chess-playing automatons:

External links[edit]