For more than 200 years, people have been fascinated with the attractive historical figure known as The Turk. Built-in the late 18th century, this mechanical wonder was a chess-playing automaton that toured Europe and the Americas, mesmerising audiences with its skill at the game.
Despite its moniker, The Turk was a very advanced device controlled by a chess master sitting within the cabinet. Many individuals were duped by this deceptive trick, including some of the brightest minds of the day, such as Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon Bonaparte.
The Turk continues to inspire those interested in the history of technology and is known as one of the early innovators of robotics and automation. Modern robots, which continue to push the limits of what is possible regarding artificial intelligence and machine learning, carry on their heritage.
The Turk is still a vital piece of our technical legacy and a reflection of the inventiveness and imagination of our predecessors despite being more than 200 years old.