Preface

In 1983, the movie WarGames came out. I was a preteen and I was absolutely engrossed: by the possibility of a nuclear apocalypse, by the almost magical way the lead character interacted with computer systems, but mostly by the potential of machines that could learn. I spent years studying the strategic nuclear arsenals of the East and the West—fortunately with a naivete of a tweener—but it was almost ten years before I took my first serious steps in computer programming. Teaching a computer to do a set process was amazing. Learning the intricacies of complex systems and bending them around my curiosity was a great experience. Still, I had a large step forward to take. A few short years later, I worked with my first program that was explicitly ...

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