On two occasions I have been asked, — “Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?” In one case a member of the Upper, and in the other a member of the Lower, House put this question. I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.

Charles Babbage (1791-1871) English mathematician, computer pioneer, philosopher
Passages from the Life of a Philosopher, ch. 5 “Difference Engine No. 1” (1864)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 11-Feb-21
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