Part of the Inhumanity of the Computer Is That Once It Is Competently Programmed and Working Smoothly—It Is Completely Honest

Quotation: Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that once it is competently programmed and working smoothly—it is completely honest.

Creator: Isaac Asimov, bestselling author of science fiction and science books

Context: The book “Change! Seventy-One Glimpses of the Future” contained a series of short speculative essays detailing Isaac Asimov’s visions of the future. The piece “Who Needs Money?” discussed a cashless economy based on computerized electronic money. Asimov believed that the precise tracking of transactions via computer would reduce duplicity: 1

Abuses? They might actually decrease as dishonest dealing and tax evasion became more difficult. Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that once it is competently programmed and working smoothly—it is completely honest.

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Luigi Muzii who requested a verified citation for this quotation.

Image Notes: Portrait of Isaac Asimov from New York World-Telegram & Sun via U.S. Library of Congress. Public domain picture of Colossus codebreaking computer from the UK National Archives via Wikimedia Commons.

Notes:

  1. 1981, Change! Seventy-One Glimpses of the Future by Isaac Asimov, Chapter 6: Who Needs Money?, Start Page 15, Quote Page 17, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. (Verified with scans)