Book Reviews

The Innovators

By: Walter Isaacson

The Innovators

Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron, born in 1815, is the godmother of our now pervasive digital world.

Ada was interested in the artistic values of mathematics and at a young age was fascinated by and showed great interest in what her mother called, “thinking machines.” Although Ada always felt that machines could never “think”, she wrote early notes that these machines could not only process numbers, but “any symbolic notations, including musical and artistic ones.” Her area of interest was the art, matching the science of the Analytical Engine, built by Charles Babbage. Herein lies one of the underlying premises of Isaacson’s book, the intersection of liberal arts and hard science is where most major innovations of the digital age were born.

Isaacson also authored Steve Jobs, the biography. He masterfully takes the reader from the Countess of Lovelace to the creation of Google and back. The Innovators is a fascinating read for anyone who is curious to learn more about how we’ve arrived in such a pervasive digital age.

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