21 episodes

A collection of interviews and films that offer a fascinating insight into the lives of very different people who have helped to shape the information society we live in today. Including five short films that were created by an award-winning production team, this collection demonstrates how information empowers people, and we hope they will encourage you to use IT as a tool to innovate, just like these pioneers did.

Information Pioneers BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT

    • Technology

A collection of interviews and films that offer a fascinating insight into the lives of very different people who have helped to shape the information society we live in today. Including five short films that were created by an award-winning production team, this collection demonstrates how information empowers people, and we hope they will encourage you to use IT as a tool to innovate, just like these pioneers did.

    • video
    Information Pioneers - Video trailer

    Information Pioneers - Video trailer

    BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is sharing the stories of five Information Pioneers who truly enabled the information society.

    • 1 min
    • video
    Information Pioneers Alan Turing

    Information Pioneers Alan Turing

    Cambridge, 1936. While the world was being shaped by events in Europe - the Spanish Civil War, the Nazis retaking the Rhineland - Alan Turing, a young mathematician, completes a new theory in his rooms in Cambridge.

    This theory was originally described as an imaginary machine, to crunch imaginary numbers, but it went on to be the origin of Artificial Intelligence as we now know it. Turing was the first to understand that computers could learn and adapt to new stimuli, just as we humans can, it was just a matter of giving them the right tools in the first place.

    Much like teaching a child to cross the road, Turing set about creating Artificial Intelligence in his machines. Today, self-parking cars, self-flying planes, even the Mars rover are all descendants of Turing's Machine.

    • 4 min
    Information Pioneers - Alan Turing Shooting Script

    Information Pioneers - Alan Turing Shooting Script

    While the world changed around him, with little fanfare Alan Turing, just 24 years old, dreamt up a machine that could be taught to think. This idea was going to change the course of history. He was the first to understand that computers could learn and adapt to new stimuli, just as we humans can. Much like teaching a child to cross the road, Turing set about creating artificial intelligence in his machines. Today, self-parking cars, self-flying planes, even the Mars rover are all descendants of Turing's Machine.

    • video
    Information Pioneers Ada Lovelace

    Information Pioneers Ada Lovelace

    London, 1833. Ada Lovelace, the 19-year-old daughter of Lord Byron and Annabella Millbank is introduced to an eccentric genius, Charles Babbage. Babbage shows her a prototype of a calculating machine he has invented called a Difference Engine.

    The two minds connect immediately, and Ada continues to work with Babbage until in 1844 he shows her his plans for another machine, the Analytical Engine. This machine uses hole-punched cards as programmes which tell it how to calculate the problems presented to it.

    In this moment, Ada sees a future that would not come into being for another 100 years. She saw that if the Analytical Engine could be programmed to calculate, it could pretty much be programmed to do anything. And thus, she gave us the blueprints for computer programming as we know it.

    • 5 min
    Information Pioneers - Ada Lovelace Shooting Script

    Information Pioneers - Ada Lovelace Shooting Script

    London, 1833. Ada Lovelace, the 19-year-old daughter of Lord Byron and Annabella Millbank, is introduced to an eccentric genius, Charles Babbage. Babbage shows her a prototype of a calculating machine he has invented called a Difference Engine. The two minds connect immediately, and Ada continues to work with Babbage until in 1844 he shows her his plans for another machine, the Analytical Engine. This machine uses hole-punched cards as programmes which tell it how to calculate the problems presented to it. In this moment, Ada sees a future that would not come into being for another 100 years. She saw that if the Analytical Engine could be programmed to calculate, it could pretty much be programmed to do anything. And thus, she gave us the blueprints for computer programming as we know it.

    • video
    Information Pioneers Hedy Lamarr

    Information Pioneers Hedy Lamarr

    Hollywood, 1940. Hedy Lamarr, known in Hollywood as "the most beautiful woman in films" already had quite a reputation. The first woman to perform a nude scene in mainstream cinema, Hedy had fled Europe and a marriage to Mussolini's arms dealer to become box office gold, starring alongside Clark Gable and Spencer Tracey.

    But it wasn't the life she wanted. Knowing, from her marriage in Vienna, that military use of torpedos was being hampered by their single-frequency transmissions, Hedy, along with George Antheil, her piano-playing neighbour, set about creating a system called frequency hopping, in which parts of a signal were sent across different frequencies.

    The system was based on the piano rolls that Antheil used in his player pianos, and allowed torpedos to be controlled without being intercepted. The patent she held is the basis for the wi-fi, GPS and mobile communications we use today.

    • 5 min

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