Albert Einstein, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs – these are all famous names, but something is missing: women. Many women have dedicated their lives to the world over the years, and there are women of science and technology who should be more famous than they are.
Letting a computer decide an outcome could be a bold choice, but it might not be so tough anymore if Fei-Fei Li has anything to say about it. She is one of the many working on artificial intelligence that can not only artificially make decisions for us but can use a little human sensitivity, too. Fei-Fei hopes their algorithms will one day be able to decide everything from children heading to school to hiring for a job and writing prescriptions to who gets out of prison. It seems as though there’s nothing this AI can’t decide.
Elizebeth Smith Friedman
Have you ever wondered about how digital surveillance and cybersecurity rose? While it might not be a question that we ask ourselves every day, we wouldn’t have either without Elizebeth Smith Friedman and her husband. The couple worked tirelessly throughout World War II as they broke codes being sent from the enemies. They would decode messages every single day which eventually led to the capture of many enemies. Elizebeth’s husband was always considered to be the only person behind the creation of cryptanalysis, but that all changed in 2017 when her name was brought back to life.
Margaret Hamilton always had grand plans of studying her Ph.D. in math, but that all changed when she was working at MIT. Margaret was one of their coders, and the Apollo space programme needed someone to help with their onboard flight software. It wasn’t long before Margaret was elected to not only be a part of the team but to lead everyone else in her adventures, too. The best bit? Margaret changed the world all while raising a young toddler and an undergraduate degree. Thankfully, her work was enough to change the entire computer era as we know it.
Computers weren’t always the sleek piece of kit that many of us know and love today. In fact, they once weighed up to 27 tons and took up plenty of space. Most of the men were fighting in World War II leaving plenty of room for Betty Holberton and five other women, Frances Spence, Jean Bartik, Ruth Teitelbaum, Marlyn Meltzer, and Kay Mauchley Antonelli, to shine through, the women were in charge of programming the first computer. Betty eventually co-developed one of the first programming languages that helped to shape modern computers and the internet. Although the six women were largely forgotten over time, they were rediscovered thanks to a Harvard student in 1986.
There have been many great names in science and technology, and it’s not time to bring some of the incredible women that have helped to shape the world. It could be time to celebrate everyone that’s changed our lives over the years once and for all.