She tamed the thinking machine.
Louise Levitas. Science Digest. March 1956: pages 53-55. [Condensed from This Week Magazine.] "Univac, one of the so-called 'thinking machines' whose lightning calculations with simple arithmetic are already scaring the average thinker, is now getting a college education. The lady in charge of this civilizing process--you might call her a machine-tamer--is Dr. Grace Murray Hopper, an ex-mathematics professor from Vassar.... Computers have been set to playing chess, predicting the weather and national elections, translating into eight languages at once, guiding Nike missiles against figurative enemy aircraft, and recently the government rented an IBM computer to take charge of the records of 119 million Social Security cardholders. To close some of the gap between man and the formidable computers, to make it possible for almost anyone to feel cozy with a Univac, has now become Dr. Hopper's purpose.... Last fall [her] innovation, called a 'Compiler,' was officially introduced to users of the Univac. With the Compiler, Dr. Hopper created a new job for herself and a new department at Remington Rand--research devoted 'teaching' the Univac new skills.... In fact, thanks to Dr. Hopper's invention, the machine has become something of a smart aleck. It now answers to call-words written in plain English. It spots and traces contradictions in the work of careless programmers; it is always ready to point out human error."
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|Title Annotation:||"Always Interesting" : AI in the news; Grace Murray Hopper from Vassar College|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Dec 22, 2006|
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