History of the Digital Universe
This history does not pretend to be complete or impartial. It's main aim is to help situate the digital art different periods of history. Ideas for the design of this text, or deriving from it are presented in DU History Principles. See our list of Computer History Museums.
See History of Digital Art
Institut Bull Text about Information systems history. Some references (up to 2005) to the history of computing and information processing.
From Big Bang to Life. 15-4 billion years
Big Bang starts a global structuration of chaos. In some places, the primal soup, the environment generates the most complex molecules which form the base of the next phase.
At start, we have the original explosion and first strucurations, obeying notably the quanta theory. Quanta and atoms are discontinuous by nature, then il line with digital operations... but for their high level of unpredictibility.
That contradicts the quite natural feeling that original "nature" is analog, and that digital came only in recent times with machinery and notably the computers. Actually, the world is, partly at least, digital from scratch. But this discontinuity is not apparent at first sight. If Antiquity had a first idea of atomism, intuitively and without serious proofs, we had to wait for the 19th century for more convincing theories.
Here as in several cases below, the discrete is perceived as contiuous due to large numbers (Avogadro).
Physical properties of objects. Laws of attraction (h3, weak). States of objects (inertia, temperature). More and more complex molecules.
CommunicationForces. Marks on other objects. Beams. on an frequency. Crystals epigenetics.
SoftwareNothing more the implicit laws of physics.
Life. 4 billion - 100 million years
Life emerges. Then life terraforms a planet from raw matter. Evolution creates more and more complex organisms, vegetals an animals, the most evolved of them near to mankind.
In 2013, science is not able to produce life from non living material. Life is a basically digital process (DNA).
- Based on DNA, life is basically fragmented down to bits (by pairs).
- Living beings fragment their aliments, chemically and/or mechanically, to synthesize their body.
Different organs contribute to it: membrane, muscle, neurons. Animals are more autonomous than vegetals.
With animals, information processing gets its specific organs (neuronal networks, brain, senses). They provide processing, memory and interaction.
Autonomy is also a group property (herds, swarms, species). Coherence and perennity of species are granted by genetic and reproduction processes.
It is mainly neuronal inside an organism, though every multi-cellular organism has some interecellular communication.
Among groups (animals mainly), light and sound are used, plus chemical means.
Externalization of reproduction by eggs and sperm.
See life (varia)
Prehistory. 100 million - 4000
Mankind emerges among the big monkeys. Tools and more generally externalization of functions progress in complexity and dematerialization so as to afford a new phase.
The border between animals and humans, once considered absolute, is more and more fussy and complex. There are several stages: palaeolithic, neolithic, bronze and iron ages. Big monkeys pass the mirror test, for instance, and may have quite articulated language.
Digital art during this period.
The first tool are done to cut (choppers) or grind. Representation demands 3 cuts (see 5.1. in DU). The progress in tools (flint) goes with more and more fine pieces of silicon. This evolution follows somehow exponential growth (Leroi-Gourhan), which could be compared to Moore's law.
Weaving, back to neolithic, shows a form of image pixelization. It is also a typical fragmentation/assemblu process : animal hides or vegetal twigs are reduced to threads then assembled in fabrics.
But the most important fragmentation process is the emergence of articulated languages, which are systems of oppositions (Saussire), then binary. Language brings also a major feature of digital systems: the sepration of meaning from its expression, notably throug abstraction.
Many tools are made for fragmenation: choppers to cut meat, fire to mollify meat, grindstones for vegetals.
Humans are "naturally" weaker than many animals. But they compensate their inferiorities, and surpass the animals, with the externalization of more and more functions. Clothes, tools, fire, homes..
Marks and painting on caves, sometimes quite abstract.
The hunters-gatherers of palaeolithic era, nomadic, could not invest in heavy products. The want of a more secure, stable, comfortable and socially elaborated was probably one of the reasons of the transition towards the cities of the neolithic era. And after that to the growh of larger and larger cities with heavier and heavier public and private estates. But that could be the way to some forms of dematerialization :
- lighter clothes
- lighter communication means, from the carved stone to the papyrus, parchment and wax tablets (to be checked).
Beside language, humans make instruments to commmunicate, for instance:
Whistle ( - , - 35000) , see MK Whistles
There are first hints of even replacing the sexual partners by artefacs (vulva representatins, dildos).
Behavior. Social behavior. The mirror test. Language is a composition between persons, demanding conventions.
Antiquity 4000 BP - 476
Digital art during this period.
Writing open the historic era and the way to universalism. It will grow in Occident and China, with a major break in Occident with the fall of Rome, returning to a chaos from which new unification schemes will emerge.
Tools, architecture, society structures grow more and more complex. Language then writing allow static as well operational levels which were out of limits for the first men
This period concludes wih the fall of Rome, due to several concomitant causes: economical (excess of capitalism), ecological, political (unable to create new kinds of relations with the "barbarous".
This period is marked by the succession or coexistence of unification poles.
- Rome (pagan)
Then writing itself evolves from various primitive form to the modern one (alphabetic). (hieroglyphs) ant the
Emergence of writing was facilitated by the digital nature of language. Texts appear in various places and with different aims [Vernus, 2011]. In Occident, after the rather analog characters of Aegypt more h3ly binary cuneiforms, an efficient balance between bits and iconic symbols was reached by the Phenicians and their phonetic alphabet of around 25 letters, a model which is dominant today (outside Asia). At a higher level, fragmentation/assembly procedures appear in a a limited set of words and syntax rules. These can be reinforced, for effectiveness or beauty, on different ways:
- Mathematics also use the structuring affordances of writing. These are fed back to plastic arts throug aesthetical canons. Firsty in Aegypt (graphical grids to be reproduced) then in Greece, with the proportional canons [Panofsky, 1969]]In this opposiion between Aegypt and Greece we have a first start of the raster/sampling opposition.
- Philosophy and logics investigate the issue. Plato is rather holistic, but Aristotle is definitevly interested by analysis, for instance in his On the parts of animals.
- The first dictionaries appear in in Sumer (2300 BCE) and the first systematic (Wikipedia), grammars originate in India (sixth century BCE).
Writing is more digital than oral speech. Alphabetic language is more digital than ideographic ones.
Stone cutting then concrete fabrication give new materials.
Mills take importance.
Aristoteles. The parts of animals. Democrites: atomism.
Greece invents democracy, with its fragmentation/synthesis of decision through votes and sepration of powers.
Capitalism is fragmentation of wealth (discretization to the minimal coin, dematerialization/volume reduction, numeric/symbolic, complex operations, liquidity and immediate transfer, hence concentration, separation from meaning.
With writing and its material supports, thought is externalized, and specially memory.
Boats have sails (Egypt).
The Greeks only are really developing technology, particularly Archimedes in Syracusa. With the finest engine of Antiquity, the clepsydra.
Anticythera mechanism (Archimedes inspired, - 100). Mechanical, gears. See Wikipedia.
There is some sort on industry, for example the Tanagra figurines.
Romans are not machine fans. They use them to raise heavy stones and for war. But they also multiply the water mills to grind corn. Gaul is more favourable. There are "industrail" sites for corn grinding (Arles) or for pottery (Graufesencque) and small sculpture (Tanagra).
The Aeolipile (Wipedia) could have led them to steam energy use, for industry or cineticart. It bremained a sort of toy. Nevertheless we must cite some advances. Industrial processes appear in pottery in pottery (Graufesencque).
Rome develops nevertheless a rather complex device, the water organon. It's the first keyboard we know in history. And possibly the origin of the term "digital" as applied to mechanisms, then to computers and hence to the full digital world. Note that the term organon has several meanings (according to our edtion of M.A. Bailly, Dictrionnaire grec-français, Hachette 1929) : an instrument (generally speaking, or war machines or, more important for us, the music instrument in the modern sense) or a part of the body, or a quantity of matter you work on. It also the global title of the Aristotle's works on logics. Philsophically, that shows that very early, the same terms are used for artefacts and natural (biological) objects. From an art standpoint, the organon as music instrument is a forerunner on several points, as we shall see below.
Memory. Papyrus and parchment, wax tablets. Plato considers writing as dangerous for the human memory. Libraries. Alexandria. The Bible.
Robots are imagined (Homer, check).
Some optical (Alexandria PHaro Caesar). Mail. Organized mail with horses and carriages.
Communication. Alexandria pharos. Alphabetic optical transmissin by Polybes.
Sacralized text is central to judaism (the Bible).
Greece is the triumph of reason (latin ratio) , along two lines
- logic (reasoning reason, ratio ratiocinans) brings a form of autonomy, if not of automatism, at the language level. Logos is both "word" and "logic".
- ratios (and rational numbers), which will play an important part in architecture and sculpture, as well as in the music formalisms
In Rome appears the term ratio, which it seems has no equivalent in Greek. Here also we get several different meanings (here according to Dictionnaire illustré Latin Français, by Félix Gaffiot, Hachette 1934) : computation (by extension, method), intelligence (as faculty of reasoning) and cause. But not, it seems, in the frequent acception of the term, as a proportion, where Latin uses proportio (and Greek analogia).
Several leaders trend to unify the world by strength, and can succeed for some time (Alexander) then the Romans. Though brutal in its ways, some aspects of Roman unification are "soft", specially the law (Jus romanum). For centuries, the Justitianus Codex will remain a reference. Note that "codex" is both a legal concept and a material disposition: the rolls (parchment) are replaced by sets of pages with binding.
Don't forget the written law of the Hammurabi code... code, here also a term which will become central to the digital word!
A still more "soft" unification is proposed in the Christian message. Several passages of Paul are strikingly modern, and the Prologue of St John "In the beginning was the Word" is an important expression of (neo-)platonism. It will reach a summit in some pages of St Augustine's The City of God, written after the fall of Rome.
The aeolipile, it remained a toy, or a sort of work of art.
The Middle Ages. 476-1492
Emerging progressively from the Occident chaos, progressively recuperating part of the Antique culture (with the help of arabic countries), the Occident tends to build a complete organization of the World, intellectual as well as political. During the same periode, China (Moghols) Arabs (Islam), and possibly Americans, tend also to unification. In Occident, they are inspired by remembrance of the Roman Empire, and some leaders attempt to restore it (notable Charles the Great); With some border contacts and conflicts (Crusades, Marco Polo travels).
These attempts lead to magnificent successes (Cathedrals, grand Mosques, Pre-columbian art).
All these attempts finally fail, for some concomitant reasons (as for the fall of Rome, but also with harsh climatic time). But the fall is not so deep as with the Roman Empire. China and Middle-East go sleeping, Europe finds quite rapidly new ground, with continutity for instance in the French monarchy.
Mills, a powerful source of energy, are important to digitization (from the website Medievalists
Early middle ages.
The fall of Rome (408) marks the entrance of Occident (widely speaking) in chaos and structure dissolution, which will be augmented by successive invasions, up to the Norman one. Libraries are burnt, monuments destroyed. In spite of great efforts or restauration (Justinian, Charles the Great, Mahomet), the powerful structures of Antiquity fall in ruins. In Europe, the treaty of Verdun (843) rings the knell of the Roman linguistic unity.
Nevertheles, some great architectural works remain to us, like St Sophia in Istanbul and some Arab palaces and mosques. As a mircale, enclosed in abbeys and castels, small elitic teams, hardly controlled by authoritarian religious systems, preserve part of the antique manuscripts. They even continue the research, mainly on the philosophical field [Libera 1993] and mathematics. The algorists (not in the modern meaning) win over the abacists and, around Gerbert for instance, elaborate a numbering and computation system which goes beyond the Antiques and the Arabs, and prepare the future advances [Ifrah 1998].
High Middle Ages
From the 11th century on, and specially in France, better conditions afford an important growth of ppulations and standards of living. Hence an expansionism which translates itself in the crusates and, culturally, a new supply to Europe of the treasures preserved and developed by the Middle-East.
At the same time, the "pax mongolica", brutal be it, opens during several decades exploratory contacts with the Far East (Marco Polo and several others).
Central powers, kingdom and papacy get new structures. Abbeys flourish, then the towns. Politics becomes mor formal, due to the authority of greak kings who develop their Justice and Exchequers. All the arts take part in the construction and decorations of the cathedrals, who host the sumptuous performances of liturgy and the theatrical representations (mysteries) whic complete them.
These large structures are digital from many standpoints. The kings do a more and more precise accountancy. The cathedral builders have not the mathematics of today strenght of materials, but they pay great respect to numbers and ratios. Even the theologians sort by numbers their hierarchies of parts, articles and questions. Logic, binary by definition, takes there a large part, as well as a breakdown of issues through series of "distinguo" fully binary.
Late Middle Ages
This explosion of digitization will at last subside :
- rationalism without practical experience leads to absurdity [Huizinga, 1924, 1955]), as the classical cas of the Buridan's donkey : placed between two equivalent troughs, it dies from hunger, unable to choose one of the the two, lacking a logical reason;
- political and religious authorities reassert their control;
- global economy and society are ruined by the Great Plague and worsening climatic conditions.
The great pest and the 100 years war put down economy and politics. Some cathedrals fall down. Anyway, they are two large and too dark, and it is on the smaller human level of local parishes that the flamboyant gothic will flourish (for example in Paris, in Saint Merry, some hundre meters from the Notre Dame cathedral. As for thought, the splendic unity of St Thomas theology and philosophy is quartered between mystics and rationalism. The middle ages die of an overdose of codification an, if I may say, of augmented reality.
These summits were perhaps a liitle too high for these times.But these take-off and their fall nevertheless will let to the following centuries several semi-auomatic machines which will bring powerful motors to the new generations : mills for corn, iron and drape, gear clocks, logical deductive machines. These machines, in that time, evoke more admiration than fear, as is expressed by the splendid motto in the Conciergerie clock in Paris,
- The Arab world
- Pre-columbian America
A page from Thomae Aquinatis Summma (Wikipedia.
- Fragmentation of thought. University and disputatio. The distinguo as a powerful dispute system. The diision of Summae.
Summa theologica (Aquinas, 1265), up to 1274. Divided in four parts, each part in questions, each question in articles, each article in three parts: objections, global answer, answer to the objections.
- It's not totally a game of words, Middle Ages see also a rise in monetary practices (money can be called "numéraire" in French). We are not so far from the fragmentation (value divided in monetary units) and motorization since, as we know even more today, capital is prone to reproduce by itself, which, since antiquity, troubles the moralists (with today expression in islamic banking rules). Money is digital.
External energies progress with multiple types of mills [Gimpel,
1975). This time sees also forerunners of the future photography :
The Abacus. The Algorists.
Camera Obscura (known in Antiquity, transmitted by the Arabs), optics (Bacon), perhaps even a chemical production of images (it has been supposed about Turin's shroud).
Gears, for clocks. Optics.
Money has a form of autonomous development as soon as loan with interest is put in practicde.
Memory. Parchment. Walls (cathedrals). The mere dimensions of summae as well as cathedrals. is impressive. They aim to represent the whole universe.
Idea of a marine torpedo ((Hassan al-Rammah, 1275).
Ars Magna, logical machine by Ramond Llull. Wikipedia.
Communication.Considerable growth of writing due to University.
Software.Musical score. Algorithms. Gerbert. Law, much more written (even in high MA)
Money goes with complexity (computation), Fibonacci.
Administration, accounting. Money manipulations. (Bourin p.213) Digital art during this period.
Emerging from the Middle-Ages waning, Renaissance is an explosion of thought, creativity and art. It does not forgetting the technical acquisitions of Middle-Ages, but negates some of its feature, typically, in archiecture, the broken brow, and more generally the omnipresence of Church authority.
Digital art during this period.
There had been some "renaissances" during the Middle Ages (with Charles the Great, for instance), attempting to revive the Roman empire. Renaissance intends to break new ground. The Italian artists lead the way. Petrarca the poet. Then Rome, Firenze, Venice. Within two centuries, the world changes dramatically. Important scientific discoveries, colonial expantion through the Atlantic, decline of the Middle East (The Far East falls asleep, by Emperor's decision).
From the digital standpoint, the continuity with the Middle Ages is striking.
Renaissance end will not be as dramatic as Middle Ages's one. The classic will keep on.
Gutenberg (Wikipedia) is known for his invention of movable characters, a notable step in fragmentation. Until then, in spite of its decomposition in alphabetical and numerical characters, text was printed globally from carved wood boards, one per page.
New wave of capitalism. The templars. Feodality.
The concept of machine emerges in its full power. It appeals to thinkers like. Francis Bacon, who writes in 1630 [Bacon, 1630, 1960] : « We shall get out sound and safe only if we take again from its basis all the work of spirit, and so that spirit be not left to itself, but be constantly guided, that the thing be done as like a machine". Opposition are not absent. In political matters, for example, the pre-scientific laws developped by Machiavel are seen as "machinatiosn". But, at their highest level, arts and sciences cooperate, supported by exceptional minds, of which Leonardo da Vinci remains the emblem, artist and "machinist" at the same time.
Note an important development of clocks.
This evolution goes along with the development of the printing press, the model of which won't change therafter up to the 19th century. That reduces considerably the cost of books and images, with intellectual and social effects comprable to the 20th century media, as commented by McLuhan.
Dam on the Garonne. The first stokholders society.
Gutenberg movable types.
Autonomy of the text. Text is digital from start. But, until then, whad counted was mainly speech, told by a person. Now it takes value for itself.
- Viete, (Wikipedia) a mathematician, starts a fundamental revolution in mathematics, which bear its fruits with Descartes an Leibniz, as explains Mihchel Serfati, in La révolution symbolique. La constitution de l’écriture symbolique mathématique. (Editions Petra, Paris, 2005).
- Luther. For the traditional religions, sacred texts had to be heard or read only under authority of a sacred person, or at least surrounded by authorized comments (Talmud for judaism, hadith for Islam). For the Reformed churches, the Bible becomes direct relation of the faithful to God ; the "free examination" frees them from any ecclesiastical auhority, they can appropriate the sacred text and draw out of it their own convictions.
The classical period : 1600 - 1789
This one is comparatively continuous, thouth through a lot of trouble (Religion wars). Indeed, this period is ideologically and politically represssive. Nevertheless it hosts the Enlightment, and an lot of scientific work. The political fall will be brutal in France, not so much in England or Germany. And the US will emerge at the end as well.
Discourse on the Method (Descartes, 1637). . Second principle : "To divide each of the difficulties, I would examine into as many parts as possible and as was required in order to better resolve them".
Division of labour (Adam Smith, 1776)
Encyclopedia 1er volume (Diderot and al., 1751), up to 1759.
Francis Bacon, in 1605, invents the binary code.
In spite of national and religion wars, the national powers confirm their power, their administration, their accounting... in short the machinery of State. Louis XVI ist a great "machinist", would it be only to feed water into the fountains of Versailles or increase its naval forces.
In depth, grows the conviction that words by themselves are digital constructs. Occam and the nominalists had raised this issue in the Middle Ages. Lacan and Wittgenstein will set it in center stage. But yet Descartes uses the latin word "concept", explicity generative. From Viete to Laplace, we can see the classical period as a time of integral digitisation of mathematical and physical sciences (often together), if not philosophical. Descartes, Leibniz, Pascal, Newton... computation not only becomes the basis of every science, but its mere language becomes a source of innovation, somehow autonomous, at least independent from its meanings [Serfati 2005]
Volney, in the III year of French revolution, quoted by Xavier Martin (Régénérer l'espèce humaine. Utopie médicale et Lumières (1750-1850). Published by Dominique Martin Morin, Bouère, France, 2008) p. 81 (our translation) : "I am more and more inclined to think that human affairs are governed by an automatic and mechanical movement, whose motor reside in the physical organization of the species".
L'homme machine (La Mettrie, 1748)
Napier multiplicating machine 1600c
Pendulum clock (Huyghens, 1656)
Calculating clock (Schickard, 1623).
Slide rule (Outhtred and others, 1620c.)
Pascaline (Pascal, 1642)
Calculating machine (Leibniz, 1673). Actually built only in 1694.
Loom with punched cards (Jacquard, 1801)
Marine torpedo (Fulton, 1800)
Better roads and mail.
Perhaps a first cable communication (Charles Marshall, 1753)
Cable communication (Lesage, 1774).
Output. Control of machines (loom).
Discourse on the Method (Descartes, 1637)
Monadology (Leibniz, 1714). The Leibnizian monad. Let's undersand it a sofware in the modern sense. Perfect information.
Punched cards for elaborate fabrics : the Jacquard loom.
The industrial period. 1789-1930
The French revolution marks an important break. It goes along with the US independence.
An important transistion comes also from passage from Agriculture to Industry, with a clear lead by United Kingdom. The transition will be brutal in the US with the Civil War (1861-1865).
Our ulterior diisions are "arbitrary" (see Philosophy of this History),
Digital art during this period. Some books published during this period.
Meccano (Hornby, 1907)
Decomposition of thought. A contest (France Institute, 1802). (see Martin)
Separation of powers (legislative, executive, judicial):
Two Treatises of Government (Locke, 1689)
L'esprit des lois (Montesquieu, 1748)
Chemical analysis, a global view (Mendeleev, 1869)
Atom's model (Borh, 1916)
Quantic constant (Boltzmann, 1873)
Generic laws (Mendels, 1866). publishes his laws of genetics, forerunners of the digital generic code.
Motors and components.
Steam locomotive (Richard Trevithick, 1804)
Electric motor for a ship (Jacobi, 1839)
Electric energy transported (Deprez, 1883)
Crookes tube (Crooks, 1890 c.)
Diode lamp (de Forest, 1912)
Diode lamp (Langmuir, 1913)
Transistor (Lilienfeld, 1925).
Radio super-heterodyne (Lévy, 1917).
Neural networks theory independently proposed by Alexander Bain (1873) and William James (1890). In their work, both thoughts and body activity resulted from interactions among neurons within the brain.
Babbage annouces his project (Babbage, 1821)
Arithmometer (Thomas de Colmar, 1822)
Analytic engine (Babbage, 1834)
Punched card tabulator (Hollerith, 1890). Patented 1887. Company founded 1896: Tabulating Machines Corporation
Analytic engine (Babbage's son, 1908).
Analytic machine (Torres de Quevedo, 1914)
Tabulating Machines Corporation becomes IBM (IBM, 1924)
Photography (Niepce, 1824)
Punched cards widh different models (probably since 1860)
Sound recoding on a cristal sheet (Scott, 1864).
Microfilm use ( -, 1870). During the Paris siege. (more as a communication means than memory proper)
Sound recording ona cylinder (Cros, 1878)
Sound recording on a cylinger (Edison, 1877).
Film (Eastman, 1888)
Sound Magnetic recording (Poulsen, 1898).
Stereo sound recording (Rosenberg, 1911).
Electromagnetic recording on discs (Gaumont, 1918).
Wax disc (Berliner, 1929c.), with reproduction by pressing (to be checked).
Optical telegraph (Chappe, 1791).
Marine semaphore (with various codes).
Electric telegraph (Sommering, 1809)
Telephone (Wheatstone, 1821).
Electric telegraph (Morse (1837),
Pneumatic transport of small parcels ( -, 1852).
Image transmission (Caselli, 1856).
Idea for image transmision (Carey, 1875). An idea.
Image transmission (Nipkow, 1883). A patent.
Radio transmission (Branly, 1890).
Radio transmission (Marconi, 1895).
Automatic telephone commutation (Strowger, 1891).
The Mélotraphone (1894). See an advertisement in La Vie Parisienne, 29/12/1894.
First tele-typewriting, leading to the Teletype ( -, 1895)
Cinema (Lumiere, 1895)
Multiplexing on cables (- , 1900c.)
Automatic telegraphic transmission (-, 1902).
The word "telecommunications" (Estaunié, 1904);
Cinema with sound (Gaumont, 1909).
Diodes tubes for radio ( -, 1910c.)
Image transmission, Belinograph (Belin, 1908)
The Eiffel tower as a radio center (Ferrié, 1909 )
Transatlantic telephone (-, 1926)
Television (Farnsworth, 1927). See [Debatty].
Videophone (ATT, 1927)
Sensors and HMI
Microphone. Camera. Recording devices. Keyboard for the Hughes telegraph then the Teletype.
Linotype (-, 1885)
Resistance bridge accelerometer ( McCollum & Peters, 1923)
Optical character recognition (Emanuel Goldberg, 1914,)
Handheld character scanner, Optophone (Fournier d'Albe, 1914).
Carbon paper for writing, then multiple copies (-, 1806). See Kevin Laurence
Electric light bulbs (Davy, 1813)
Syphon recorder, which recorded telegraph signals as a continuous trace on paper using an ink jet nozzle deflected by a magnetic coil. (Lord Kelvin, 1867). Just a patent.
Printer for telegraphs (Digney, circa 1850, Hughes 1872).
Rotary press.(-, 1873)
Edison light bulb (Edison, 1884)
Cathode ray tube (Braun 1897).
Television by CRT (Campbell-Swinton, 1908)
Software concept (Ada Lovelace, 1842).
Standards. (genericity). Metric system.
Manifesto of the Communist Party (Marx & Engels, 1849)
Transition from the precedent period. After the war... Both tiredness and a kind of freedom.
See Information systems 1930-1940.
Digital art during this period. Some books published during this period.
Éléments de mathématique (Bourbaki, 1939)
Technologically, the 1930's sees an upgrading of the chemistry and electricity. But a new technology emerges : electronics, based on the triod lamp of Lee de Forest. It dates back to 1906, but its application expand only after WW1, mainly for sound devices.
Birkenhead : the War. Impressive foreseeing!
Processor. Mainly two types: calculators (hand controlled) and punched cards (tabulators and various machines).
Computing machine (Couffignal, 1936)
Differential analyser (Vannevar Bush, 1930c)
Complex calculator Bell Model 1 (Bell Labs, 1939)
Memory. Punched cards and tapes.
Telex (-, 1931) .
Radiovision (Barthelemy, 1931c. ).
HDTV in Britain (-, 1936). The British high-definition TV service started trials in August 1936 and a regular service on 2 November 1936 using both the (mechanical) Baird 240 line and (electronic) Marconi-
French television inaugurated (-, 1939)
Radar (Taylor-Young-Hyland, 1933) First patent.
Photoelectric cell (Elster and Geitel, 1880c. )
The tabulator is a printer.
Cathode ray tube for oscilloscope ( (-, 1935c).
Loudspeaker (-, 1930).
Beginning of "connecting boards", an ancestor of computer software.
1940-60's. Emergence of the digital properly speaking.
The war and its consequences accelerate the convergence of the various branches of pre-digital technologies. The core point is the synthesis emblematically attached to Von Neumann.
Right at that time, imaginations take off. The idea of a cloud intelligence, for instance, has been presented by Fred Hoyle (a mathematician), in his SF novel The black cloud (Signet Books 1959). Much more famed remains the I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (copyright 1950, publication Signet Books1956).
Henceforth, for those who are willing to see it, the universal extension of digitalization in industry, managementt, defense... and arts, shines like an obviousness. Until the 1970's, of course, computers are expensive, and it is only on the margin that artists are given access to their capacities. Nevertheless, the rise of computing machines, from the mechanical contraptions of the 19th century to the electronic computers will contribute, along with mathematics, to the emergence of the "modern" era.
This orientation of mind implies the concept of integration at all levels.Mc Luhan publishes : "Understanding media, The extensions of man". The modernism, and modern art with it, is the "grand narrations" period. Based on science, on history but also on religion, these narrations let hope that, after hars times (the cold war, the Christian parusia...), mankind will reach a wide and peaceful unity of thought, politics and economy. Marx or Teilhard de Chardin fight the same war ! You can even find an explicit title in the (largely unknown) book of Didier Lazard : Convergence des civilisations actuelles (Neuchatel et Paris Edtions de la Baconnière. 1963). But this unity is threatened by some forereunner of the "digital divide", in that time the separation between literary and scientific studies, presented in C.P. Snow lecture The two cultures. (1959)
The terms ban and deciban are invented by Alan Turing with I. J. Good (1940). The ban is sometimes called Hartley. It measures the quantity of information brought by a decimal digit.
The term bit in its computer meaning, is created (1948). It is an abbreviation coined by U.S. computer pioneer John W. Tukey (1915-2000) of binary digit, probably chosen for its identity with bit in the original sense (small part). A bit is a measure of information quantity only as far as its two values are equiprobable.
The radical fragmentation dowh to the bit is borne in the US. And its causes and depth are clearly worded by [Von Neumann] : “We feel h3ly in favor of
the binary system”, for three reasons :
- hardware implementation (accuracy, costs),
- “the greater simplicity and speed with which the elementary operations can be performed” (arithmetic part),
- “logic, being a yes-no system, is fundamentally binary, therefore a binary arrangement… contributes very significantly towards producing a more homogeneous machine, which can be better integrated and is more efficient”.
Around it are converging during this period :
- the convergence of two intellectual spaces, heretofore sharply distinct : arithmetics and logics, which both are now implemented by the same logical gates (and mostly in what is called, at this time, the ALU (Arithmetical and logical unit) of the computer;
- the possible control of the whole, coherently, through programming languages, with data and programs using the same hardware;
- the direct implementation of recursive functions, and in particular those of formal automata as well as neuronal circuits.
- the convergence with life, with the DNA discovery and the cybernetics concept?
Here, for simplicity, we anticipate on the next decade.
This convergence on the binary opens a terminologic issue, which is still unsolved in the 21th century (but who cares, now?). Binary is not congenial to the human way of thinking and speaking. Then a lot of different words (or word roots) will coexist:
- computer (computing): adopted for instance by the ACM (Associations for Computing Machinery) then its Siggraph (computer graphics); a lot of acronyms beginning with CA (Computer Aided...).
- auttomaton (automatic, automaton): later, office automation,
- electronics, sometines simply electric, possibly electro-mechanic
- cybernetics, with a lot of decensions with the cyber- prefix (cyberpunk, cyborg...).
- processing, processor
- data (as opposed to information)
- information (information systems, notably in corporations)
- arithmetic (ALU, arithmetic and logic unit in the CPU)
- logic (ALU, also a family of electronic components).
- numerical (used in industry : numerical control, see Wikipedia).
- robot, robotics
These terms can be combined, the most immportant being data processing. Competition pushes into terminologic creativity:
- IBM chooses to let drop ADP (Automated Data Processing) in favor of EDP (Electronic Data Processing).
- Magazines look for brand titles : Computer automation, Datamation), or in acronyms.
- Professional associations: The ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) is created in 1947. Its main competitor, the . IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers was born by the merging, in 1963 of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (1884) and the Institute of Radio Engineers (1912) .
(which, will let drop the decension of its letter and calls itself only "The world's largest professional association for the advancement of technology,/ "L' Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers est né de la fusion, le 1er janvier 1963, de l’American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE, fondé en 1884) et de l’Institute of Radio Engineers (en) (IRE, fondé en 1912)2.
There are few English neologisms : software, bug. hypertext (and decensions with the prefix).
Perhaps the most important move is a new decension for the term 'digital', previously related to fingers (from the latin radix digitus), and now adapted to the binary, from the English digit.
These words, or uses of words, will be generally taken as such or slightly adapted by other languages, from Germany to Japan.
In this domain as in other, France will stress its "cultural exception", and create several neologisms
- ordinateur (computer), sometimes translated (ordenador), created by IBM France in the 1950's.
- informatique, which some countries will translate in "informatics", 1962.
- logiciel (for software), officially launched in 1981.
- télématique (seen as a combination of informatique and télécommunications), 1978
- bureautique (office automation) 1977
- systémique (systems science) 1977
- domotique (home automation), around 1985
- productique (our first references are in 1987).
In 1970, the Afcet (Association Française de Cybernétique et Technique) is founded in 1968 by merging of several more specialized associations (see notice, in French).
Hiroshima and Nagasaki (1945)
Nanotechnologies evoked (Feynmann, 1959)
Transistor ( - , 1947)
Eniac ( - , 1947)
DNA (Watson and Crick, 1953)
Cruise missile V2 (Von Braun, 1943)
Z3 Computer (Zuse, 1941)
IBM ASCC (Aiken, 1944)
Mark 2 (Aiken, 1944)
Mark 3 (Aiken, 1949), with a drum memory.
Mark 6 (Aiken, 1952) with ferrite cores memory.
Punched tape and cards. Magnetic tapes (check).
The "transistor" radio. Shannon.
Radio, at that time, is mainly analog. Morse code remains used for some applications (marine, defense), but analog transmissions are considered more modern. TV, which begins to spread during this decade, is mainly analog also. (In 2010, it was not yet fully digital in France).
Teletypes connected to a Bell Model 1 (Bell Labs, 1940)
Sensors and HMI
The Sage system at MIT's Lincoln lab used the first true light pen [Masson].
First grahic tablet (Stylator, 1957).
Output. More powerful printers. Stereo sound (?)
First image-processed photo created at the National Bureau of Standards [Masson].
OutputInkjet printer (Siemens, 1951)
Programming languages. Fortran, Cobol (check). Mathematics lead the way, with the grand projects of Hilbert, which will be reworked, under another form, by the Bourbaki community. Elementarization is explicit in the title of the series: "Eléments de mathématiques". And the text begins gloriously by the sentence: "The signs of a mathematical theory... ", which will be used do to build the set theory. Unfortunately, along an evolution analysed in depth by Pierre Mounier-Kuhn, the Bourbaki school parts itself from this orientation, and choose geometry against logic.
DAC-1, first computer-aided drawing system, created at General Motors and IBM [Masson].
The Garden of Forking Paths (Borges, 1941)
Neural networks, a computational model (McCulloch and Pitts, 1943).
As we may think (Bush, 1945)
Cybernetics; or Control and Communication in the Animal and Machine (Wiener, 1948).
A Mathematical Theory of Communications (Shannon, 1948). "His formula for computing information, in fact, was based directly on Ludwig Boltzmann's famous formula for computing the entropy, or amount of randomness of a thermodynamic system" (see Johnston)
Nineteen eighty-four (Orwell, 1949).
Cellular automata (Von Neumann, 1949c. ).
Computing machinery and Intelligence (Turing ? , 1950). The Turing test.
Design for a Brain (Ashby, 1952).
Psychoanalysis and Cybernetics (Lacan, 1954).
Men, machines and the world about (Wiener, 1954)
Dartmouth conference on AI (John McCarthy, 1956)
Chess playing program (Newell-Shaw-Simmon, 1958).
Cobol (-, 1959)
Machine learning using the game of checkers (Samuel, 1959)
Geometry theorem proving (Gelernter, 1959).
from the precedent period: more moral and intellectual.
As surprising as it may be, the second world war horrors did not immediately crushed down the modern hopes. On the contrary ! After such deep traumata, wounds had to be groomed, reconcile parties and if possible nations, and give to everybody the hope a new constructions over the ruins. It was a time for modernism, and these idea spread actually in the public, be they "modern mathematics", Le Corbusier architecture, prospective views of Teilhard de Chardin and, of course modern art... that was Matisse and Picasso.
It's later, in the 60's, that the modern is superseded by the post-modern. Military failures of Occident in Vietnam and Algeria, semi-failure of Vatican II council (which nobody finds at its guide, and ends up in a schism), reopening of the dark Shoah files... even Science waits for this decade to let itseff be challenged by relativity in physics and undecidability in logic and mathematic. Before then, we were doing as if...
The digitization begins to take of, in its progressive analysis of precedent systems to turn them into computer applications.
But another kind of fragmention/composition takes place on the philosophical/ideological side: the deconstruction of the post-modens.
Computers are big monsters, safely guarded in their air conditioned rooms, served by the white blouse computer specialists. Some small (P 101, PDP8). But still a lot of punched card machines and mechanical products.
Smaller and cheaper products.
Moore's law (Moore, 1965)
"Third generation" computers
Multi-processing and multi-programming.
Ferrite cores. Latedness lines. Magnetic tape and discs.
The Hifi, the vinyl
CMC7 marking for bank checs (Cie des machines Bull, 1957).
Telstar satellite (AT&T, 1962)
Teleprocessing. Time sharing.
Public television becomes common. The "free radios".
Arpanet project (-, 1969)
Sensors and HMI
Light pencil (-, 1962).
Sketchpad: A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System (Sutherland 1963). The first direct graphic inteface. A short description in [Masson].
Mouse. (Douglas Engelbart and Bill English, 1965)
Head mounted display, HMD (Sutherland and Sproull, 1968)
Touchscreen project (E.A. Johnson, 1965).
Graphic tablet (Rand, 1964). also known as the Grafacon (for Graphic Converter)
First laser printers
Plotter (-, 1965c.)
Flat panel display (University of Illinois, 1964).
Active matrix addressed display ( T Peter Brody/Westinghouse, 1968).
Spacewar, a popular computer graphics game, written on PDP-1, on a large round CRT, and primitive handmade joysticks. See [Masson].
ASCII code (ASCII, 1960). Up to 1963.
Computer graphics, the term is coined (William Fetter, 1960). At Boeing for his human factors cockpit drawing. ((Indicated by [Debatty])
Pattern recognition by machine. (Selfridge and Neisser, 1960).
Man-computer symbiosis (Licklider, 1960)
"Happenings" in the New York Scene (Kaprow, 1961)
Simulation of human thought (Newell and Simon, 1961)
Spacewar! first video game (Steve Russell, 1961) at MIT for the PDP-1.
Simulation of verbal learning behavior (Feigenbaum, 1961)
Programming a model of human behavior (Hunt & Holland, 1961)
Augmenting Human Intellect. A conceptual framework (Engelbart, 1962).
Olivetti P101 (Olivetti, 1962). A sort of micro-computer
Principles of the Self-Organizing Systems (Ashby, 1962). See Johnston).
The Cut-Up Method of Brion Gysin (Burroughs, 1963)
Strange attractors (Lorenz, 1964). See Johnston.
The Construction of Change (Ascott, 1964).
Data base, the hierarchical model IMS (IBM, 1966)
Eliza (Weizenbaum, 1964-1966). Wikipedia
Basic ( -, 1964)
A File Structure for the Complex, the Changing and the Inteterminate (Nelson, 1965).
"Modern mathematics" in France (Commission Lichnerowicz, 1966). Until 1973.
Fortran Ansi standard (Ansi, 1966)
Simula 67, the first object-oriented programming language (Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard, 1967).
The Game of Life (Conway, 1968c.)
1968. Cybernetic Serendipity conference (Jasia Reichardt, 1968). Institute of Contemporary Art of London.
Data base network model (DBTG, 1969)
The petroleum shock.
The computer community launches its own postmodern revolution (even if these groups, mostly scientific, havec no idea even of the term). The regular diminution of its costs and the integration of circuits open the possibility of "mini-computers' (circa 1970), then of micro-computers (from 1978 and mostly after 1980). Then it is much more affordable to artists, with individual processors and memories of ever growing capacity. Computers go along with data networks where small machines become clients of large servers (The former computer industry knew only master-slave relationships).
In phase with post-modern mindset, the centralized networks let place to free structures, of whic Arpanet then Internet are the emblems. All this, of course, is not done over one day, and the move lasts over a small quarter of century, up to the moment when a new generation emerges with cell phones then smartphones.
Intel 4004 (Intel, 1971). The first microprocessor widely distribute.
Arcade game machines.
Apple Computer inc. (Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, 1976)
Apple II (Apple, 1977). Indicated by [Debatty])
The original Atari, Inc. if founded in 1972 It is a pioneer in arcade games, home video game consoles, and home computers. (Wikipedia)
First operational drone, Tadiran Mastiff (Israel, 1973).
Memory. Magnetic devices begin to make the punched ones obsolete.
Floppy disc 8 inches (IBM and others, 1971).
Smart card (Moreno, 1974)
Floppy disc 5,25 inches (Shugart, 1976)
VHS (-, 1976)
CD (Philips, 1979)
Arpanet official launch (-, 1972)
GPS project (US Department of Defense, 1973)
Sensors and HMI
Optical character recognition, omni-font (Kurzweil, 1974)
Eye tracking rapid expansion of research.
Needles printers, Matrix printers The LA30 was a 30 character/second dot matrix printer (Digital Equipment, 1970). Will be replaced by inkjet printers.
First laser printer by IBM, model 3800 (IBM, 1975).
Database, the relational model (Codd, 1970)
Autopoiesis (Maturana and Varela, 1972)
Smalltalk (Alan Kay and al. at Xerox Parc, 1972)
Prolog (Colmereauer, 1972)
Catastophs theory (Stabilité structurelle et morphogénèse, Thom, 1972).
Small Is Beautiful: A Study Of Economics As If People Mattered (Schumacher, 1973)
Tabletop version of Dungeons & Dragons (Gygax and Arneson, 1974)
Tale-Spin. Story generator (Meehan, 1976). See Grand Text Auto
Responsive Environments (Krueger, 1977).
Visicalc, the first spreadsheet (Dan Bricklin, 1979).
A sort of maturity for the large computing system, and an explosion of micro-computing... with emergence of the viruses. Artificial Intelligence takes a new start, mainly in business milieux. The world of arts does not feel that need. Anyway, the hopes placed into "expert systems" will fail to meet the expectations.
See Information Systems 1980-90
Digital art during this period. Some books published during this period.
Mini and micro-computers. Text processors. Integrated circuits. The big computers are now called mainframes.
Thomson TO5 computer (France, 1982).
Macintosh (Apple, 1984), Commodore Amiga (1985), personal color computer.
First Atari compuers: 65XE, then the XE series. Computer viruses enter onto the scene (Cohen 1985).
Floppy disc 3,5 inches (IBM, 1986)
Internet is still a tool for scientific labs, but begins to be accessible to a larger public, in particular in France through the minitel. But only some fans imagine its immense future.
Minitel (France, 1982). In France, the minitel is lauched (a small, low performance terminal, but f (reely distributed to millions of telephone owners). Its low transfer rate and its small monochrome screen, under character mode (not pixel) limit seveerly its artistic performance. But some works appear, and a little later, they can use color.
ADSL (-, 1989)
RFID (Walton, 1983).
Sensors and HMI
Paintbox (Quantel, 1980)
Power glove (Nintendo, 1987)
Mocap for military applications
Proposal for a Universal Electronic Publishing Sysem and Archive (Nelson, 1981).
Direct Manipulation: A Step Beyond Programming Languages (Shneiderman, 1983)
Midi music standard (-, 1983).
MacPaint (Apple, 1984) , a bitmap-based painting program. Framework for office automation.
Video Games and Computing Holding Powder, from The Second Self (Turkle, 1984).
Gödel, Esscher, Bach. (Hofstadter, 1985 in French) .
A Cyborg Manifesto (Haraway, 1985).
MIT Medialab (Jerome Weisner and Nicholas Negroponte, 1985)
The GNU Manifesto (Stallman, 1985).
Synthesis and simulation of Living Systems (A conference in Los Alamos, 1987, organized by Langton).
Hypercard (Atkinson/Apple, 1987). An important tool, we could say a sort of smart DB systems for every user. Unfortunately, it was dropped by Apple in 2004.
Langages de quatrième génération (Afcet, 1988).
C Ansi Standard (Ansi, 1989)
Genetic Algorithms in Search, Optimization and Machine Learning (Goldberg, 1989).
Pacman (Japan, 1980)
SimCity (Wright 1989)
France's president François Mitterrand opens in Paris the "Centre informatique mondial" and launches for schools a global equipment plan ("Informatique pour tous").
Thomas Ray Thomas, is more a scientific than an artist, but his works are of importance for generative art.
The 1990's. The Internet bubble
Connected personal computers are more and more general. Internet becomes standard, with mixed results for many startups. On the other hand, artificial intelligence, and expert systems specially, show their limits and expert systems in particular are considered failures.
In 1993, Wavefront acquires Thomson TDI and receives a capital investment from Thomson.
The HTML page as the basic knowledge element.
Grid computing idea (-, 1991c).
Processor. Downzizing opposed to mainframes. Desktops, laptops. Game machines. Micro-computers are now in all developed populations. They are no longer called "micro-" anyway, but more simple, computers. What were the yesterday's computers are now termed mainframes, or servers. Internet explodes.
Deep Blue (IBM, 1996) and1997. Deep Blue. Two matches with Kasparov. “Deep Blue’s victory did not definitely resolve any issues concerning machine versus human intelligence... “ . ”Deep Blue should be regarded less as a stand-alone entity than a complex computational assemblage within which humans assumed a variety of roles”. (Johnston, The Allure of Machinic Life, 2008).
DVD ( -, 1995)
Digital Betacam (-, 1993)
Web 2.0. The term is coined ( Darcy DiNucci, 1999)
Amazon founded (Amazon, 1994)
Altavista (Digital Equipment, 1995)
"Natural langage processing is actually the instantiation of a dynamical system" (Elman, 1995).
Google (Google, 1998)
The World Wide Web (Berners Lee and al, 1994).
HDTV First public broadcast (Raleigh, 1996). Ihe United States occurred on July 23, 1996 when the Raleigh, North Carolina TV began broadcasting.
GPS fully operational (US Ministry of Defense, 1994).
Electronic data interchange standart (NIST, 1996)
Sensors and HMI
Heasdet and goggles becomes more common.
Mocap for animation cinema.
Laser priner, inkjet printer. Color printers more frequent.
Webcam (James Quentin Stafford-Fraser and Paul Jardetzky, 1991).
HTML ( -, 1990)
Photoshop 1.0 (Adobe, 1990)
Linux (-, 1994)
Flash (Macromedia, 1996), now Adobe
Amoeba, Spontaneous generation of digital life (Pargellis, 1996)
Sims virtual creatures (Karl Sims, 1994)
Echo model of a complex adaptive system. Adaptation in Natural and Artificial Systems (Holland 1992. See Johnston).
Avida, evolving complexity in the digital genome (Adami, 1994-1998).
Consciousness explained (Dennett, 1991), and critique by Churchland.
"The World's First Collaborative Sentence", an ongoing project on the Web (Douglas David, 1994)
After some big fears, that will finally not justified, the digital world enters the 21th century. Convergence of computer technologies and biotechnologies becomes visible. As in the precedent decades, computers continue to be eveywhere and more and more connected. Then the hardware issues focus on the two sides of the general network:
- enormous power of processing, storage and communication in public and corporate systems; server farms, grid and cloud computing
- cheaper and smaller machines on the tables, laps and pockets of human users (cells phones and smartphones for everybody (iphones for some), with powerful interfaces (WII controller for game machines). Unfortunately, from an ecological standpoint, large and very large screens become common.
FragmentationHuman genonme sequenced ( -, 2001)
Self-reproducting robots (Lipson, 2000)
The age of spiritual machines (Kurzweil, 2000c.)
The singularity is near (Kurzweil 2009)
The Grid: Blueprint for a new computing infrastructure (Foster and Kesselman, 2004).
Swarm machines. Prey (Crichton, 2002 )
Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution (Rheingold 2003),
Kill Decision (Suarez 2012)
Swarm Intelligence (James Kennedy and Russll C. Eberhard, San Francisco Morgan Kaufmann 2001).
Crowdsourcing coined (Jeff Howe and Mark Robinson, 2006) in June 2006 Wired magazine.
USB Key (Netac Technology, 2001) OnlyDisk™
Wikipedia (Jimmy Wales, 2003)
Youtube (Youtube, 2005). Then bought by Google.
Internet 2.0. ADSL (check the date)
Internet 2.0. Expression (Dale Dougherty, 2003),
Kinect (Microsoft, 2008)
Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg, 2004)
Sensors and HMI
The digital camera becomes the rule. Surveillance cameras.
WII (Nintendo, 2006)
Smaller printers. 3D printing. An extreme of fragmentation/construction. With the meaning loss of the element.
Robotic expression, Kismet (Breazeal, 2000).
Creative Commons ( -, 2001)
C-Level, a cooperative public and private lab formed to share physical, social and technological resources, is founded in Los Angeles (-, 2001)
150 ECM in France (Culture, 2001)
Creation: Life and how to make it (Steve Grand(2001)
Growing up with Lucy (Steve Grand 2004)
Second Life, (Linden Lab, 2004)
What is Thought? (Eric B. Baum, 2004) MIT Press. The Hayek machine, an evolutionary program... gives some hope that there may be ways to jump-start artificial evolution and leapfrog over the computationally demanding early stages.
On Intelligence (Jeff Hawkins, 2004) Times Book. What it means to understand something.
Facebook (Zuckerberg, 2004)
Lucy project (Steve Grand, 2001). Until 2005 Wikipedia
Instructables.com, a community of collaborative users who upload DIY projects that other users can comment on and rate for quality, is created (Eric Wilhelm, 2005)
Maker Faire (Make Magazine, 2006)
Google Lunar X Prize, competition to travel on moon (Google, 2007)
MakerBot Industries (MakerBot, 2009)
Otaku (Hiroki Azuma, 2009) . The Azuma Database model. See pictures, body, the computer. The parts of the base must afford their combination. At start, the constraints on the base are not heavy, since th cmbination is done by the brain, with its h3 combinatorial power. All that is required is a physical arrangement of the base so that the otaku can easily make their necessary choices. There is also the structure of the base in the otaku's mind. But here we have no direct access. Human memory is very comples. When the assembly is done by machinic means, the constraints are higher on the base structure. But it is a layered structure: image of the base in the otaku's mind, - external file structure in the PS
Singularity University founded (2009) Website
Smarphones, tablests. Motor. More robots. Drone war.
Ipad (Apple, 2010)
Cloud computing (-; -): The origin of the term cloud computing is unclear (says Wikipedia)
Explosion of "mobiles", mainly from smartphones, but also tablets, etc. Apple comes back.
Google driverless cars autorized on public ways in Nevada (Google, 2012)
Flash card (-, - )
USB Key 1 To (Kingston, 2013)
Dailymotion (Dailymotion, 2012).
DNA as computer memory (IBM, 2012)
3G becomes commen (origins 1992)
IBM Watson machine wins Jeopardy (IBM, 2011)
The Global Mind, a 48 pages chapter in The Future (Gore, 2013)
AlphaGo wins Go game. Another machine wins at Poker.
Paris ACM Siggraph, the French chapter of ACM Siggraph, worldwide non-profit organization of computer graphics.
Les Algoristes, an association of artists using their own algorithms in their work.