Speaker 1: (00:00)
9 1 1 emergency
Speaker 2: (00:02)
9 1 1. What’s your emergency? 9 1 1. What’s your emergency? 9 1 1 9
Speaker 1: (00:10)
On April 9th, 2000 14, 9 1. One service suddenly stopped for millions of people across the United States. It was down for over six hours, more than 6,000 emergency calls. Couldn’t get through the government, traced the problem to a computer and a call routing facility in Anglewood Colorado. It was a simple coding mistake. The people in charge of coding, that computer chose to do it with an upper limit. For the number of calls. It could lock a limit. The coders thought the computer would never, but that night in 2014, it did the computer followed its instructions perfectly. It hit the limit and stopped routing calls. The problem wasn’t the computer and it wasn’t a bug in the code. It was the coding, the decision making process by which people communicate with the computer, this kind
Speaker 3: (01:02)
To power comes with great ethical responsibility. There’s nothing like doing it. There’s nothing that’s
Speaker 4: (01:07)
Substitutes for, you know, much the same ways that builders of a city determine how your life has lived in the city. I, I think code controls how we live online, which basically is how we live.
Speaker 1: (01:20)
Not just when we go on the internet, but when contact emergency services or go to the doctor or get in a car, we’re all so close to code every day. Yet only around a third of 1% of us know how to write it to be overwhelming majority. It’s a black box, but it doesn’t have to be. So how does coding really work? And what new world are we building with it?
Speaker 5: (01:51)
The computer, an ingenious collection of electronic hardware was created by man.
Speaker 6: (01:59)
It is not that we not have adequate machines to solve problem, but rather we like act with the, when.
Speaker 7: (02:05)
So is code.
Speaker 1: (02:06)
You think it’s like really, really,
Speaker 7: (02:08)
Really hard. It’s very important to really remember everything you use on your computer was created by some human being.
Speaker 4: (02:22)
Let’s say an alien kid when you you’re like, okay, well what’s the importance of code? What is it? I’d say, well, you know, we live on this sort of physical earth. And about 50 years ago, a small group of people started building another planet, but it wasn’t physical virtual planet. Look around the street. You see all these people walking down the street with their head, Ben down and staring at their phone. They’re actually in that other one world. So that’s what code is. It’s the building blocks of the other world.
Speaker 1: (02:50)
This loom is the ancestor of every computer and smartphone on earth. It was invented in 1804 and the big innovation was these cards. The holes in each card allowed only certain pins to pass through with thousands of holes on hundreds of cards, weavers could do more complex patterns than they could before elaborate. Shas became all the rage in Europe and woven designs could be so intricate. They looked like drawings like this. One of the looms inventor before these looms individual strings had to be selected by hand, by draw boys, math back then was done by hand too, by so-called computers. The first computers were people and the best machines we had to help us could only do one type of math problem. Like the Abacus for adding and subtracting British mathematician. Charles Babbage wanted a machine that could do any math problem you chose for it to do, or rather programmed it to do. He proposed a machine. He called the analytical engine. Babbage’s idea would earn him a place in history.
Speaker 8: (03:56)
Computers were invented first by I BA uh, very eccentric, British inventor,
Speaker 1: (04:05)
BA and inspiration for how it would work. He kept a copy of this picture hanging in his house. BA’s analytical engine like ARDS loom had physical parts, hardware, and also like the loom. You could give the hardware instructions in the a form of cards, punched with holes. The holes let pins in and the absence of holes forced other pins backwards, setting off a chain of mechanical calculations, the cards with their different holes that software Babbage never finished his analytical engine, but a young woman working with him saw its world changing potential way beyond just math. ADA, Byron countless of Lovelace wrote the bounds of arithmetic were outs stepped. The moment. The idea of applying the cards had occurred. She saw what Ja card saw. The holes could represent more than just numbers. They could be patterns, music, or entire sentences.
Speaker 8: (05:03)
You can think of it kind of as Morse code
Speaker 1: (05:06)
Each letter in the Morse code. Alphabet is expressed as a set of only two signals or it’s binary. And with just those beeps, we can say anything like this distress call sent out by the Titanic in 1912 S OS doesn’t stand for anything. It’s just incredibly simple to send in war’s code. You can equally
Speaker 8: (05:29)
Well think of every letter could be expressed as a combination of zeros and ones
Speaker 1: (05:35)
Look familiar. This is binary code. And it’s how we bridge the gap between machines and human, which each one or zero is a binary digit or bit. These are the atoms of modern computing. You may know them by another name. Eight bits is a bite. So you know that picture in your computer. That’s a 1.1 megabytes. That’s 8 million, 800,000 ones and zeros like Morse codes, dots and dashes are just a way to write down and binary codes, ones and zeros are just the way we write down. What’s really happening in a modern computer charge or no charge. This is a simple electrical circuit. Imagine millions of these all working together. That’s a computer today on an electric circuit. This is a bit is the light bulb off zero on one computers only understand electricity. So everything coders do with computers is in the end, just a series of on or off charges. It all works because strung together in just the right way, those charges can represent logic.
Speaker 5: (06:47)
Basically logic is a predictable series of facts or events such as closing this switch. And this one to ring the in fact, computer people call this a logic and circuit
Speaker 1: (07:04)
Or a logic gate. Let’s see if I can do this without burning a hole through this table in an and gate, both circuits need to be closed for the light to go on. And there are, or gates where the light goes on. If just one of the it’s as closed, you can put this another way. If one of these circuits is closed, then turn on the light. That kind of, if then statement, that’s an algorithm in pop culture today. The word algorithm causes lots of confusion. We’ve
Speaker 9: (07:33)
Seen this before, uh, where the algorithms go haywire. The way algorithms
Speaker 10: (07:37)
Work is something of a mystery and most people can, what the heck is an algorithm anyway,
Speaker 1: (07:42)
But an algorithm is really just a set of directions. Imagine walking to the store, you could take a left and then take a right. Or you could just take a right then turn left, or you could also take four left, run around the park, cross the highway, and then take four, right? Again, just like there are different directions to get to the same place in coding. There can be many different algorithms to solve the same problem. The goal is to find the most elegant, efficient one beautiful
Speaker 7: (08:11)
Code. Doesn’t repeat itself. It’s very elegant. It’s powerful
Speaker 1: (08:16)
Computers, running algorithms just did what we told them to do, but so much faster, which made people so much more powerful. When scientists first began to develop the fusion bomb, they primarily used human computers, but then they turned to this one, the any NEC computer ran Thermo nuclear calculations for six weeks. It’s results contributed to directly to this. The first successful test in 1952 of bomb, hundreds of times, more powerful than the atomic Fision bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during world war II, the power to code amplified people’s ability to do what they chose to do. But in the 1940s, it was still a lot of work writing
Speaker 8: (09:03)
Programs and zeros and ones, clearly doesn’t
Speaker 1: (09:06)
Scale. People wanted more of the power coding gave, but they wanted an easier way to code the story of coding’s since then has been the story of making code closer and closer to human language by inventing what nearly all coders today actually use programming languages compared to ones and zeros. These languages are pretty
Speaker 11: (09:29)
Abstract. Abstraction is a word that’s tough for people. More
Speaker 1: (09:33)
Abstract languages boil down to same ones and zeros. We’ve just found better ways to organize them. You can think of it in terms of biology. Humans are incredibly complex, but 99% of our bodies are made up of only six elements. And you
Speaker 11: (09:48)
Can work your way up to large molecules between that layer of organization. And the one that is the simplest living thing is actually a bit of a jump
Speaker 1: (09:57)
And humans have brains, which do things so advanced. It’s hard to believe they’re still made of the same stuff.
Speaker 11: (10:03)
Computers actually are rather like that, but are much simpler. So that is the good news. The story
Speaker 1: (10:10)
Of coding is the story of moving this box up, moving away from binary to give ourselves easier, faster, more powerful ways to code without having to deal with, or really even understand the binary and logic gates beneath that’s. What allows coders to make the products we’re all familiar with the first step to get. There was
Speaker 8: (10:32)
Assembly language, which is much easier to read and write where you say instead of zero one zero zero zero one one one, let’s call it ad and then have a program called the assembler, translate the letters, a D D to the appropriate equivalent zeros and ones at this
Speaker 1: (10:54)
Level. Binary is organized into letter and numbers just like Adams are organized in demo molecules, but coding and assembly language still. Wasn’t exactly easy because all these computers used different assembly languages. If you wrote a program for one computer, it wouldn’t work on any of the others.
Speaker 11: (11:15)
Very quickly. People started of thinking about, well, what we really want to give the computer are things in terms that we actually use every day. You have
Speaker 3: (11:25)
Programming languages that we build using the assembly language. And then from those programming languages, we build more programming languages. You’ve
Speaker 1: (11:34)
Probably heard their names, less
Speaker 8: (11:36)
Basic Java C plus plus Python, thumb three, HTML, five
Speaker 1: (11:39)
Pearl PHP, a little bit of seed, just like how spoken languages are different ways of expressing the same idea to other people. Programming languages are just different ways of expressing the same idea to computers. We have
Speaker 8: (11:53)
More than one high level language because first of all, different languages address different needs.
Speaker 1: (12:01)
Take a look at these two. This one Cobal was created in the late 1950s to make it easier for businesses to use code. It looks a lot like English eggs. If every conversation ended with stop run, this one CPL was developed in the 1960s and included more scientific computing. It’s like biological evolution. As organisms get more complex, they develop features that make them better adapted to their specific environments. Eh,
Speaker 8: (12:33)
And frankly, it’s also a matter of taste. People like different tools for expressing themselves.
Speaker 1: (12:41)
For example, the language G plus plus Elon Musk, not a fan. You could make one up. This is a real high level language made entirely of the word Mo seriously, it’s called cow. This one is made of Arnold Schwartzenegger movie quotes
Speaker 8: (13:00)
Every time I think, okay, we must be done by now. Somebody else comes up with a new language and it develops a group of devotees. So I don’t see any end insight to the end mention of new languages.
Speaker 1: (13:16)
And all of these languages are still based around logic. For example, a coder at Netflix could say, if you’ve been watching longer than two hours, then display this. But for code to impact most people’s lives, most people had to be using computers, which meant computer had to be easier friendlier. And that required another big leap, which started here in a demo given by Doug Engelbart in 1968
Speaker 12: (13:45)
In a second, we’ll see the screen that he’s working and the way the tracking spot moves and conjunction with movements of that mouse
Speaker 8: (13:52)
People nowadays don’t program by writing out statements on a piece of paper and then handing them off to somebody who types it in you sit down at a screen, you have a graphical user interface
Speaker 1: (14:06)
Today. We call them gooey with gooey people can code without typing at all, or they can just use code more easily.
Speaker 8: (14:15)
You’re typically operating in a programming environment of the type that Allen and his companions created so beautifully at Xerox Palo Alto research center in the early seventies, a
Speaker 1: (14:32)
Speaker 8: (14:33)
I think of him as the father of personal computing, because he was the first to really articulate that vision. And I have to confess at the time, I thought it was science fiction. When
Speaker 11: (14:45)
Big things really get done, there’s usually a whole community and boy park was fantastic at it. It was just like magic. The
Speaker 7: (14:55)
Graphical user interface allowed millions more people to use computers in a way that is natural to them.
Speaker 1: (15:04)
When Xerox first advertised goos in 1979, they showed how code could change daily life.
Speaker 5: (15:11)
You come into your office and a Xerox machine presents your morning mail on a screen soon Xerox systems like this will help you manage your most precious resource information.
Speaker 11: (15:22)
There were people like me and a lot of the people in this research community wanted to make the world better. They
Speaker 4: (15:29)
Had an idea that was deeply related to human augmentation. Something that would interact with us, you know, the, the public that the normal person and make us capable of doing more than we were before.
Speaker 1: (15:44)
It did make us capable of doing more. Dewey were a big jump up this spectrum and then came the next world, changing innovation, a new way to distribute. Everything that we could make with code on TV. People started predicting what sudden access to all this code would mean. Imagine
Speaker 13: (16:05)
If you will sitting down to your morning coffee, turning on your home computer to read the day’s newspaper, imagine
Speaker 14: (16:11)
In a world where every word ever written, every picture of a painting and every film ever shot could be viewed instantly in your
Speaker 15: (16:19)
Home. I think we’re actually on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying. It’s just a tool though, isn’t it? No, it’s
Speaker 1: (16:26)
Not the most impactful software products today make use of all these innovations. One college student used a high level programming language PHP to make something shared over the internet to be used on computers with gooey. He described it in his first ever TV interview in 2004. It’s
Speaker 9: (16:45)
An online directory that connects people through universities and colleges through their social networks there. And now we’re at a hundred thousand people. So who knows where we’re going. Our next,
Speaker 1: (16:53)
Where we went was more than 2 billion people on Facebook monthly today, coder shape, literally billions of people’s lives. How they work, shop, eat, date and
Speaker 7: (17:06)
Chill. What are you doing right now? You’re watching me in a Netflix web browser. So now Netflix itself is code and it’s being run in a web browser. That is code, which is being run on a computer that was designed using code it’s it’s turtles all the way down. Right? Great code is like being the architect of a museum that millions of people think of and go and walk around and use every day. I think there’s nothing like writing code because it feels like pure creation. You have an idea for how something should work, and then you try to sit down in front of a computer and make that a reality. I think there’s
Speaker 3: (17:49)
A lot of responsibility for that role.
Speaker 4: (17:52)
You know, you have speed limit no more than 60 miles an hour fine, but what if you had a car? And the computer said, well, this car is not gonna go faster than 60 miles an hour. That’s a different way of controlling your behavior. Often by controlling our choices, code our live exerts an almost more profound regulatory effect, uh, than the law can ever hope to. And
Speaker 1: (18:19)
That might be a great thing. There are around 6 million car crashes in the us every year. And one analysis found 94% caused by the driver. Advancements in coding could save millions of lives, but they can all put lives in danger. In new ways,
Speaker 16: (18:38)
I have something called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, um, which is the medical term for the fact that I have a big heart. My heart is literally a big heart. It is three times the size of a normal person’s heart. I found out when I was about 30. And so my risk of suddenly dying by 40 was just very large. And the electrophysiologist said, well, this is no problem at all, because you can get a pacemaker defibrillator.
Speaker 1: (19:03)
This device runs on code a couple
Speaker 16: (19:06)
Years ago when I was pregnant, my heart was palpitating about a quarter of all. Women have palpitations. It’s perfectly normal, but my device thought that I was in a dangerous rhythm and it shocked me. Device manufacturers have no interest in pregnant ladies getting shocked. It is literally the last thing they want. They just haven’t considered it. There
Speaker 8: (19:30)
Is this huge set of decisions and the people who do the programming will be making them. And inevitably there will be some combination of circumstances that they will not have anticipated. So what we try to teach when we teach the craft of programming is how you think about all these different conditions, how you try to be exhaustive without becoming paralyzed by the number of things that you might have to consider.
Speaker 1: (20:07)
And that will only become more true because we’ve started coding in a complete new way in traditional coding. You write instructions for a computer, but we’re now able to give a computer, a bunch of inputs and a bunch of outputs and get it to write its own instructions.
Speaker 3: (20:24)
What you do is you give the computer a lot of examples and you say, this is a, a party. This is a party. This is a party, right? And then you have other things, a dentist office, not a party, a classroom, not a party. So then the computer looks at these and tries to build a classification system. This
Speaker 1: (20:46)
Is machine learning
Speaker 3: (20:47)
These days. If somebody says artificial intelligence, this is what they mean. That’s a whole different kind of abstraction and way of doing things because it doesn’t really fit into the way we stack these things up.
Speaker 1: (21:02)
We call them machine learning algorithms because the computer is creating. It’s a own set of directions to follow.
Speaker 3: (21:08)
But of course, in the end, they too get translated into tiny little instructions. Google translate used to be more than a million lines of code that’s people writing million little instructions. Currently Google translate is about follow 500 lines of code that just calls in the machine learning
Speaker 1: (21:31)
Suppose because of an oversight, none of the photos of parties you put in included any black or Hispanic people, the computer could decide that a rule of parties is only white and Asian people are invited. There’s a lot
Speaker 3: (21:44)
Of white and Asian guys who program we should absolutely expand who gets to be in that design room for a million reasons. They will ask better questions if there’s more life experience. But in the end, if you’re feeding your machine learning system data, say criminal justice system that has structural racism built into that data. And let’s say your machine learning programmers look like a Ben ad, the different races, different sort of faces, different social backgrounds. That machine learning system is still gonna learn from the data
Speaker 1: (22:16)
Without people actively correcting for that historical data will lead us to repeat the mistakes of the past. The story of coding is one of human ambition and create
Speaker 17: (22:29)
Lift off of the Falcon kni rocket.
Speaker 18: (22:32)
We have seen what we thought was unseeable, a black hole.
Speaker 1: (22:36)
We’re building a new world with more and more intuitive tools that a greater number of people can use to help make sure that world is better.
Speaker 16: (22:46)
We have been on a journey to make is more accessible to human beings and to a greater set of human beings. We’re
Speaker 7: (22:53)
Seeing this revolution play out before our eyes in the past 50 years. And that’s why it’s so exciting to be alive today. It’s very important to really remember everything you use on your computer was created by some human being. You can be one of those people actually, and it’s really important that you become one of those people. You can actually change the world in a really fundamental way. There’s
Speaker 3: (23:15)
A world that’s gonna be run using machine learning and data and traditional coding in more and more ways. And what we have to do as a society and say, okay, we’ve got this pot new technology. And in some ways it could be great, but it’s not gonna be great by itself.
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