Clever Hans and the calculator

Arthur Buxton is one of the few artists who is calculating enough to both illustrate and extend the legend of Clever Hans (click on the drawing to go to Buxton’s blog). Clever Hans was a horse that purportedly could do mathematical calculations, stamping his paw to count out the results. The truth of the matter—that the horse was picking up on subtle cues from its owner and from spectators, eventually became a cautionary tale.

Here is a photo of Clever Hans himself, with his owner:

BONUS: Of course, the notion of Clever Hans using a machine is not entirely without precedent.

Improbable Research