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Rear Admiral Grace Hopper:
- Graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College; then Ph.D. in mathematics at Yale University
- Enlisted in the Navy Reserve (WAVES) in WW II
- Pioneered the computer revolution with special emphasis on Department of Defense operations
- Was so good that Congress wouldn’t let her retire
- Awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the highest non-combat decoration awarded by the Department of Defense
The list of superlatives about Grace Hopper goes on and on – you can read about her here.
She’s been gone a while, but Admiral Hopper still speaks to us, especially in today’s virtual reality existence, where things have to be seen on a computer screen to be experienced as real and where we sit in a restaurant jabbing thumbs at our smart phones instead of engaging with the person across the table.
Today we have more information available to us in an instant than was known throughout the entire history of civilization through 1950. I made up the date, but you get the idea. Is all that information enough? Here’s what Admiral Hopper said about that:
“We’re flooding people with information. We need to feed it through a processor. A human must turn information into intelligence or knowledge. We’ve tended to forget that no computer will ever ask a new question.”
I don’t know about that new question. Perhaps some AI silicon-brain computer does ask new questions. No matter. At our level as leaders, it’s up to us to use our human, carbon-based brains to “turn information into intelligence or knowledge” and ask the new question. That’s your job.
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