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Nikola Tesla Proposes the ICBM, the Robot, and Peace via Mutual Assured Destruction

Nikola Tesla (1919), "My Inventions," Electrical Experimenter (Hugo Gernsback, ed.)

[W]hen I was a student at college I conceived a flying machine quite unlike the present ones... devoid of sustaining planes, ailerons, propellers, and other external attachments... capable of immense speeds and... very likely to furnish powerful arguments for peace in the near future. Such a machine, sustained and propelled entirely by reaction... controlled either mechanically, or by wireless energy.... [I]t will be practicable to project a missile of this kind into the air and drop it almost on the very spot designated, which may be thousands of miles away.

But we are not going to stop at this. Telautomats will be ultimately produced, capable of acting as if possessed of their own intelligence, and their advent will create a revolution. As early as 1898, I proposed to representatives of a large manufacturing concern the construction and public exhibition of an automobile carriage which, left to itself, would perform a great variety of operations involving something akin to judgment. But my proposal was deemed chimerical at the time and nothing came of it...

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