Ada Lovelace Quotes

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I never am really satisfied that I understand anything; because, understand it well as I may, my comprehension can only be an infinitesimal fraction of all I want to understand about the many connections and relations which occur to me, how the matter in question was first thought of or arrived at, etc., etc.
Ada Lovelace
I am in a charming state of confusion.
Ada Lovelace
The Analytical Engine weaves algebraic patterns, just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves.
Ada Lovelace
What is imagination?... It is a God-like, a noble faculty. It renders earth tolerable, it teaches us to live, in the tone of the eternal.
Ada Lovelace
The Analytical Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform. It can follow analysis; but it has no power of anticipating any analytical relations or truths. Its province is to assist us to making available what we are already acquainted with. [Describing Charles Babbage's machine.]
Ada Lovelace
If you can't give me poetry, can't you give me "poetical science"?
Ada Lovelace
I don't wish to be without my brains, tho' they doubtless interfere with a blind faith which would be very comfortable
Ada Lovelace
Like Ada Lovelace, Turing was a programmer, looking inward to the step-by-step logic of his own mind. He imagined himself as a computer. He distilled mental procedures into their smallest constituent parts, the atoms of information processing.
James Gleick (The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood)
Forget this world and all its troubles and if possible its multitudinous Charlatans--everything in short but the Enchantress of Numbers.
Charles Babbage
Mathematical science shows what is. It is the language of unseen relations between things. —Ada Lovelace
Seanan McGuire (Middlegame (Alchemical Journeys, #1))
The Analytical Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform.” —Ada Lovelace, October 1842
Al Sweigart (Cracking Codes with Python: An Introduction to Building and Breaking Ciphers)
The next phase of the Digital Revolution will bring even more new methods of marrying technology with the creative industries, such as media, fashion, music, entertainment, education, literature, and the arts. Much of the first round of innovation involved pouring old wine—books, newspapers, opinion pieces, journals, songs, television shows, movies—into new digital bottles. But new platforms, services, and social networks are increasingly enabling fresh opportunities for individual imagination and collaborative creativity. Role-playing games and interactive plays are merging with collaborative forms of storytelling and augmented realities. This interplay between technology and the arts will eventually result in completely new forms of expression and formats of media. This innovation will come from people who are able to link beauty to engineering, humanity to technology, and poetry to processors. In other words, it will come from the spiritual heirs of Ada Lovelace, creators who can flourish where the arts intersect with the sciences and who have a rebellious sense of wonder that opens them to the beauty of both.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
The Analytical Engine has no pretensions to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform. —Ada Lovelace Scientific Memoirs, Selections from The Transactions of Foreign Academies and Learned Societies and from Foreign Journals
Neil Clarke (More Human Than Human: Stories of Androids, Robots, and Manufactured Humanity)
Your mum wrote that girls can do whatever," Ada continued. "Education. Profession." Mary, now fully engaged, put down her book. "My dear Ada, my mother wrote about how things ought to be, not how they are." Ada continued looking displeased, which made Mary go on. "Of course, how are things to be the way they ought, unless we make them so?
Jordan Stratford (The Case of the Missing Moonstone (The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, #1))
Thus did Ada, Countess of Lovelace, help sow the seeds for a digital age that would blossom a hundred years later.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
Ada była twórcą konceptualizacji komputera (...), maszyny, która by przechowywała, manipulowała, przetwarzała, modyfikowała wszystko, co da się wyrazić symbolicznie
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
The Analytical Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform.
Ada Lovelace
I wish to add my mite towards expounding & interpreting the Almighty, & his laws & works, for the most effective use of mankind; and certainly, I should feel it no small glory if I were enabled to be one of his most noted prophets (using this word in my own peculiar sense) in this world.
Ada Lovelace (Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers: A Selection from the Letters of Lord Byron's Daughter and Her Description of the First Computer)
Mi principio inquebrantable es esforzarme en amar la verdad y a Dios por encima de la fama y la gloria. El suyo es amar la verdad y a Dios, pero amar más la fama, la gloria y los honores."/"My unswerving principle is to strive to love the truth and God above fame and glory. Yours is to love the truth and God, but to love more fame, glory and honors
Ada Lovelace
a simple, inspiring mission for Wikipedia: “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing.” It was a huge, audacious, and worthy goal. But it badly understated what Wikipedia did. It was about more than people being “given” free access to knowledge; it was also about empowering them, in a way not seen before in history, to be part of the process of creating and distributing knowledge. Wales came to realize that. “Wikipedia allows people not merely to access other people’s knowledge but to share their own,” he said. “When you help build something, you own it, you’re vested in it. That’s far more rewarding than having it handed down to you.”111 Wikipedia took the world another step closer to the vision propounded by Vannevar Bush in his 1945 essay, “As We May Think,” which predicted, “Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified.” It also harkened back to Ada Lovelace, who asserted that machines would be able to do almost anything, except think on their own. Wikipedia was not about building a machine that could think on its own. It was instead a dazzling example of human-machine symbiosis, the wisdom of humans and the processing power of computers being woven together like a tapestry.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
Ada [Lovelace] ... you're right. Nobody can see it but you.But you will have inheritors. Granddaughters and great-granddaughters. They will sprout up everywhere, all over the world, and work with the same dogged, unrelenting focus. Other people will keep getting the credit until one day they won't anymore. And Then your history will be written, a hundred times, by teenage girls at their desks in the heart of their kingdoms, on machines beyond your wildest imagination
Claire L. Evans
C. P. Snow was right about the need to respect both of “the two cultures,” science and the humanities. But even more important today is understanding how they intersect. Those who helped lead the technology revolution were people in the tradition of Ada, who could combine science and the humanities. From her father came a poetic streak and from her mother a mathematical one, and it instilled in her a love for what she called “poetical science.” Her father defended the Luddites who smashed mechanical looms, but Ada loved how punch cards instructed those looms to weave beautiful patterns, and she envisioned how this wondrous combination of art and technology could be manifest in computers. (...) This innovation will come from people who are able to link beauty to engineering, humanity to technology, and poetry to processors. In other words, it will come from the spiritual heirs of Ada Lovelace, creators who can flourish where the arts intersect with the sciences and who have a rebellious sense of wonder that opens them to the beauty of both.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
a harbinger of a third wave of computing, one that blurred the line between augmented human intelligence and artificial intelligence. “The first generation of computers were machines that counted and tabulated,” Rometty says, harking back to IBM’s roots in Herman Hollerith’s punch-card tabulators used for the 1890 census. “The second generation involved programmable machines that used the von Neumann architecture. You had to tell them what to do.” Beginning with Ada Lovelace, people wrote algorithms that instructed these computers, step by step, how to perform tasks. “Because of the proliferation of data,” Rometty adds, “there is no choice but to have a third generation, which are systems that are not programmed, they learn.”27 But even as this occurs, the process could remain one of partnership and symbiosis with humans rather than one designed to relegate humans to the dustbin of history. Larry Norton, a breast cancer specialist at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, was part of the team that worked with Watson. “Computer science is going to evolve rapidly, and medicine will evolve with it,” he said. “This is coevolution. We’ll help each other.”28 This belief that machines and humans will get smarter together is a process that Doug Engelbart called “bootstrapping” and “coevolution.”29 It raises an interesting prospect: perhaps no matter how fast computers progress, artificial intelligence may never outstrip the intelligence of the human-machine partnership. Let us assume, for example, that a machine someday exhibits all of the mental capabilities of a human: giving the outward appearance of recognizing patterns, perceiving emotions, appreciating beauty, creating art, having desires, forming moral values, and pursuing goals. Such a machine might be able to pass a Turing Test. It might even pass what we could call the Ada Test, which is that it could appear to “originate” its own thoughts that go beyond what we humans program it to do. There would, however, be still another hurdle before we could say that artificial intelligence has triumphed over augmented intelligence. We can call it the Licklider Test. It would go beyond asking whether a machine could replicate all the components of human intelligence to ask whether the machine accomplishes these tasks better when whirring away completely on its own or when working in conjunction with humans. In other words, is it possible that humans and machines working in partnership will be indefinitely more powerful than an artificial intelligence machine working alone?
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
The reality is that Ada’s contribution was both profound and inspirational. More than Babbage or any other person of her era, she was able to glimpse a future in which machines would become partners of the human imagination, together weaving tapestries as beautiful as those from Jacquard’s loom. Her appreciation for poetical science led her to celebrate a proposed calculating machine that was dismissed by the scientific establishment of her day, and she perceived how the processing power of such a device could be used on any form of information. Thus did Ada, Countess of Lovelace, help sow the seeds for a digital age that would blossom a hundred years later.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
Peel finally decided to interrupt the endless stream of complaints and grievances and call Babbage to order with a hard fact: ‘Mr Babbage, by your own admission you have rendered the Difference Engine useless by inventing a better machine.’ Babbage took the bait and glared at Peel. ‘But if I finish the Difference Engine it will do even more than I promised. It is true that it has been superseded by better machinery, but it is very far from being “useless.
James Essinger (Ada's Algorithm: How Lord Byron's Daughter Ada Lovelace Launched the Digital Age)
glory, at the Science Museum of London. Charles Babbage was a well-known scientist and inventor of the time. He had spent years working on his Difference Engine, a revolutionary mechanical calculator. Babbage was also known for his extravagant parties, which he called “gatherings of the mind” and hosted for the upper class, the well-known, and the very intelligent.4 Many of the most famous people from Victorian England would be there—from Charles Darwin to Florence Nightingale to Charles Dickens. It was at one of these parties in 1833 that Ada glimpsed Babbage’s half-built Difference Engine. The teenager’s mathematical mind buzzed with possibilities, and Babbage recognized her genius immediately. They became fast friends. The US Department of Defense uses a computer language named Ada in her honor. Babbage sent Ada home with thirty of his lab books filled with notes on his next invention: the Analytic Engine. It would be much faster and more accurate than the Difference Engine, and Ada was thrilled to learn of this more advanced calculating machine. She understood that it could solve even harder, more complex problems and could even make decisions by itself. It was a true “thinking machine.”5 It had memory, a processor, and hardware and software just like computers today—but it was made from cogs and levers, and powered by steam. For months, Ada worked furiously creating algorithms (math instructions) for Babbage’s not-yet-built machine. She wrote countless lines of computations that would instruct the machine in how to solve complex math problems. These algorithms were the world’s first computer program. In 1840, Babbage gave a lecture in Italy about the Analytic Engine, which was written up in French. Ada translated the lecture, adding a set of her own notes to explain how the machine worked and including her own computations for it. These notes took Ada nine months to write and were three times longer than the article itself! Ada had some awesome nicknames. She called herself “the Bride of Science” because of her desire to devote her life to science; Babbage called her “the Enchantress of Numbers” because of her seemingly magical math
Michelle R. McCann (More Girls Who Rocked the World: Heroines from Ada Lovelace to Misty Copeland)
In 1851 Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage met up for the last time when they, along with six million other people, visited the Great Exhibition together. Housed in a fantastic purpose-built glass pavilion in Hyde Park called the Crystal Palace, it was designed to showcase the achievements of British industry and all the stuff we’d nicked from overseas. Babbage, who never let an occasion get in the way of a grievance, was less impressed because not one of his amazing engines was on display.
Ben Aaronovitch (False Value (Rivers of London #8))
The aristocracy and the ordinary people were like different species. A commoner might rarely be elevated to nobility by acquiring great wealth or political influence, but the easiest way into the aristocracy – then as now – was through marriage. Most aristocrats married other ones, but occasionally a commoner might get lucky, just as sometimes happens today. Many
James Essinger (Ada's Algorithm: How Lord Byron's Daughter Ada Lovelace Launched the Digital Age)
Lady Byron noted with obvious approval that her daughter was more impressed with meeting scientists on Wednesday, June 5, 1833, rather than royalty. In particular Ada greatly enjoyed meeting the forty-four-year-old Charles Babbage: Ada
James Essinger (Ada's Algorithm: How Lord Byron's Daughter Ada Lovelace Launched the Digital Age)
English mathematician Ada Lovelace and scientist Charles Babbage invented a machine called the “Difference Engine” and then later postulated a more advanced “Analytical Engine,” which used a series of predetermined steps to solve mathematical problems. Babbage hadn’t conceived that the machine could do anything beyond calculating numbers. It was Lovelace who, in the footnotes of a scientific paper she was translating, went off on a brilliant tangent speculating that a more powerful version of the Engine could be used in other ways.13 If the machine could manipulate symbols, which themselves could be assigned to different things (such as musical notes), then the Engine could be used to “think” outside of mathematics. While she didn’t believe that a computer would ever be able to create original thought, she did envision a complex system that could follow instructions and thus mimic a lot of what everyday people did. It seemed unremarkable to some at the time, but Ada had written the first complete computer program for a future, powerful machine—decades before the light bulb was invented. A
Amy Webb (The Big Nine: How the Tech Titans and Their Thinking Machines Could Warp Humanity)
One hundred years after Ada’s death, Ada’s fellow mathematicians rediscovered her work. They marveled at how a woman who had lived long before the age of computers had been able to imagine them and the immense potential they held to shape our world.
Rebel Girls (Ada Lovelace Cracks the Code (Rebel Girls Chapter Books))
la primera teórica de la informática, Ada Lovelace, la matemática que a principios del siglo XIX sentó las bases de las calculadoras mecánicas y predijo que pronto dominarían el mundo. Le pareció que estaba muy bien escrito.
Javier Sierra (Premio Planeta 2017: ganador y finalista (pack) (Autores Españoles e Iberoamericanos) (Spanish Edition))
Those who view mathematical science, not merely as a vast body of abstract and immutable truths, whose intrinsic beauty, symmetry and logical completeness, when regarded in their connexion together as a whole, entitle them to a prominent place in the interest of all profound and logical minds, but as possessing a yet deeper interest for the human race, when it is remembered that this science constitutes the language through which alone we can adequately express the great facts of the natural world, and those unceasing changes of mutual relationship which, visibly or invisibly, consciously or unconsciously to our immediate physical perceptions, are interminably going on in the agencies of the creation we live amidst...
Ada Lovelace
Was there anything about Ada Lovelace?” I asked. Nightingale gave me a funny look. “Byron’s daughter?” he asked. “I’m not sure I understand the connection.” “She worked with Babbage on the difference engine,” I said. “In what capacity?” “She was a famously gifted mathematician,” I said. Who I mostly knew about from reading Steampunk, but I wasn’t going to mention that. “Generally considered to have written the first true computer program.” “Ah,” said Nightingale. “So now we know who to blame.
Ben Aaronovitch (The Hanging Tree (Rivers of London, #6))
there’s even an Ada Lovelace Day celebrated every October 13, a time to raise the profile of women in STEM and encourage a new generation of “number enchantresses
Sam Maggs (Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History)
Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace, who was the only legitimate child of poet Lord Byron, often considered the first software engineer, dreamed about doing calculations by machine. This pair was a century ahead of their time. They developed concepts such as stored programs, self-modifying code, addressable memory, conditional branching, and com-puter programming, all of which were foundations for modern compu-ting.
Rico Roho (Primer for Alien Contact (Age of Discovery Book 4))