In his new book “The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution,” Walter Isaacson outlines the most crucial inventions of the digital age. Judy Woodruff spoke with him recently and he explained how many of the greatest breakthroughs during the modern computer age came into being through a collaborative effort of government, universities and private corporations. Isaacson argues that this partnership is threatened today because of the underfunding of university and government research.
He weaves together the life stories of individuals whose greatest discoveries and ideas gave birth to the Internet. Starting as far back as 1830, Isaacson examines everyone from obscure nineteenth century mathematician Ada Lovelace, to beloved industry behemoth Steve Jobs. He traces the evolution of entrepreneurial drive, business culture and individual hubris that led certain companies to succeed while others failed. He tells NewsHour that he remains optimistic when looking at the digital future because “our moral sense tends to keep up with our technological advances.”
Watch the full interview on tonight’s PBS NewsHour.