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. This moving, intelligent and beautiful film makes you realise we nearly had a Victorian computer revolution.
Cuisine meets a vital need, but it is also a way of expressing pleasure, emotions, and sharing. With an hour on average spent everyday cooking, it is also at the heart of our daily lives. How will cooking respond to environmental challenges in the future?
Gordon Welchman was one of the original elite codebreakers crucial to the allies defeating the Nazis in World War II. He is the forgotten genius of Bletchley Park. Filmed extensively at Bletchley Park, the centre for codebreaking operations during World War II, this documentary features the abandoned buildings where thousands of people worked tirelessly trying to crack the codes, Hut 6, where Welchman pioneered his groundbreaking work, and the machines that Welchman helped design.
2015 • Technology
Facebook is thought to know more about us than any other business in history, but what does the social network that Mark Zuckerberg built do with all of our personal information? Reporter Darragh MacIntyre investigates how Facebook's powerful algorithms allow advertisers and politicians to target us more directly than ever before, and he questions whether the company's size and complexity now makes it impossible to regulate.
It’s a universe where scientists explore matter on a scale 80,000 times smaller than a human hair. Nanotechnology promises groundbreaking solutions to the most serious problems that threaten our future, but it’s also a realm that poses serious philosophical, political and ethical questions. We have always counted on new technologies to help us shape our world. Now researchers are crossing another technological frontier. In this nano-dimension they’re learning to manipulate the most intimate mechanics of life and they promise us more control of our bodies and of our environment. This three-part series explores a mysterious and unknown universe, the world of the infinitesimally small, and the revolution it promises.
2011 • Technology