Watch Conceiving Ada
- 1 hr 25 min
Conceiving Ada is a 1997 film about the life and work of Ada Lovelace, who is widely recognized as the world's first computer programmer. The film is a mix of historical fiction and science-fiction, exploring Ada's life as well as the world of technology through the eyes of Emmy, a present-day computer scientist played by Tilda Swinton. The film begins by introducing Ada, who is played by Francesca Faridany. Ada is the daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron and is raised by her mother, Lady Byron, who sees to it that Ada is educated in mathematics and science. Ada's interest in math leads her to create some of the first algorithms for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine, a mechanical computer device that was never built during Ada's lifetime. The film then flashes forward to the present day, where Emmy is working on a project to create the world's first sentient computer program. Emmy is struggling with the project and becomes interested in Ada's life after she learns that Ada had an interest in creating an "engine of the mind" that would be capable of understanding human thought. Emmy begins to experiment with her computer program, named "Emily," by feeding it information about Ada's life. As she becomes more absorbed in Ada's story, Emmy begins to have vivid dreams about Ada's life and even begins to communicate with her through the computer program. As Emmy delves deeper into Ada's story, she discovers that Ada was a brilliant mathematician and had a keen understanding of philosophy. Ada's work on the Analytical Engine was not only groundbreaking but also philosophical, as she believed that the engine could be used to create a new form of art that she called "the poetry of science." Emmy's obsession with Ada's work begins to take a toll on her personal life, as she becomes increasingly isolated from her friends and colleagues. She also begins to experience strange hallucinations and visions, further blurring the line between reality and fantasy. In the end, Conceiving Ada is a thought-provoking exploration of the intersection between technology, creativity, and consciousness. The film poses questions about the role that technology can play in the creation of art and the evolution of the human mind, while also paying tribute to the pioneering work of Ada Lovelace. The performances by Tilda Swinton, Francesca Faridany, and Timothy Leary are captivating, and the film's blend of historical fiction and science fiction make it a truly unique viewing experience.