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Which clippings match 'Thinking Machines' keyword pg.1 of 1
13 OCTOBER 2015

Calculating Ada The Countess of Computers

"Ada Lovelace was a most unlikely computer pioneer. In this film, Dr Hannah Fry tells the story of Ada's remarkable life. Born in the early 19th century Ada was a countess of the realm, a scandalous socialite and an 'enchantress of numbers'. The film is an enthralling tale of how a life infused with brilliance, but blighted by illness and gambling addiction, helped give rise to the modern era of computing.

Hannah traces Ada's unlikely union with the father of computers, Charles Babbage. Babbage designed the world's first steam-powered computers - most famously the analytical engine - but it was Ada who realised the full potential of these new machines. During her own lifetime Ada was most famous for being the daughter of romantic poet Lord Byron ('mad, bad and dangerous to know'). It was only with the advent of modern computing that Ada's understanding of their flexibility and power (that they could be far more than mere number crunchers) was recognised as truly visionary. Hannah explores how Ada's unique inheritance - poetic imagination and rational logic - made her the ideal prophet of the digital age."

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TAGS

19th century • Ada Lovelace • analytical engine • BBC Fourcalculator • Charles Babbage • computer age • computer pioneer • computing history • countess • difference engine • difference equations • differential equations • finite-difference methods (FDM) • flexibility and power • Hannah Fry • history of computation • history of computingJacquard loom • Lord Byron • mechanical bird • modern computing • number crunching • numerical methods • pioneering womenpioneers in computer science • poetic imagination • poetical science • punch cards • rational logic • scientific age • steam-powered computer • thinking machines • Victorian engineering • visionarywomen in technologywomen programmers

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 JUNE 2011

What Does It Mean To Become A Master?

"In the 1960's and 70's, the advent of computers not only reinforced this notion of man as a rational animal, it also led many people to predict that we would soon have machines that could think and act just like human beings. In 1972, however, Hubert Dreyfus's seminal and controversial book What Computers Can't Do anticipated the failure of what came to be known as 'artificial intelligence'.

In the book, Dreyfus explains that human beings are not at all like computers. We do not apply abstract, context–free rules to compute how to act when we engage in skilled behavior. Instead, Dreyfus argued, the fundamental thing about humans is that we are embodied beings living in a shared world of social practices and equipment. In the end, it is our skillful mastery and our shared practices that not only distinguish us from machines but allow us to assume meaningful identities."

(Tao Ruspoli, 2010)

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19722010 • a sense of wonder • a world full of meaning • abstract thoughtAlbert Borgmannartificial intelligence • Being in the World (film) • Charles Taylor • context-free rules • craftsmanshipcreative skills • embodied beings • exemplary figures • existential phenomenologists • existential philosophers • existentialism • flamenco master • godsheroes • Hiroshi Sakaguchi • Hubert Dreyfushuman being • Iain Thomson • jazz master • John Haugeland • Leah Chase • Lindsay Benner • living in a shared worldmachines • man as a rational animal • Manuel Molina • Mark Wrathall • Martin Heidegger • master carpenter • master chef • master juggler • masters • masterymeaning • meaningful identities • modern day masters • musical genius • rational animal • sacred • saints • Sean Kelly • shared practices • sinners • skilful masteryskillskilled behaviourskillful copingsocial practicessports stars • Tao Ruspoli • Taylor Carman • thinking machines • unique situation • What Computers Can't Do

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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