Charles Babbage was an English polymath, mathematician, inventor, philosopher and mechanical engineer. Considered by some to be the ‘father of the computer,’ he is best known for developing the Analytical Engine, the forerunner of a digitally programmable computer. Although Babbage never fully managed to complete the Analytical Engine, his invention and ideas eventually led to more complex electronic designs. Discovering his unpublished notebooks in 1991, British scientists were able to build the ‘Difference Engine No.2’ machine
Therefore, Babbage is fundamentally the founder of digital. Like many of our other Digital Problem Solvers, he began his journey with an intractable problem that needed solving. He opened our minds to the ‘art of the possible’ and made it his goal in bringing his vision to life
Babbage, similar to another of my great inspirations, Norman Foster, was the architect of change in a period in history where revolutionary change agents were vilified for their individuality and revolutionary opinions.
He was extraordinary, alone and inadvertently revolutionary. Ahead of his time and other contemporaries, Babbage gave us the architecture of the digital world we walk today. In reality, without him, there would be no Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM or even data science. This is the greatest element I have admiration for as the machine learning world will change our future for the better and unfortunately in some cases for the worse, but overall the balance will be positive. So, on the whole, I personally believe that Charles Babbage is the true father of artificial intelligence.
At each increase of knowledge, as well as on the contrivance of every new tool, human labour becomes abridged.