Innovation and a desire to push the boundaries of what is possible are values that have defined the field of computing since its inception.
From the earliest pioneers of electronic computing to the latest AI technologies, the spirit of innovation has always been a driving force behind progress in the industry.
Famed leaders, including Alan Turing, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs, are credited with advancing the frontier beyond limits we believed possible.
But they’re not the only ones we should be celebrating.
A significant portion of our computing advancement is owed to a lesser-known trailblazer, Betty Holberton, a pioneering computer scientist who made significant contributions to the development of computer technology.
Chances are you’ve never heard of Holberton.
That’s because, as we often witness, she was the “woman behind the man,” and her contributions to first-of-its-kind programming were overshadowed.
We thought it was time we put the woman in the forefront.
Continue reading to learn how Betty Holberton’s underrated legacy lives on through Betty Bot.
Who is Betty Bot?
Betty Bot is a cutting-edge chatbot that merges sophisticated artificial intelligence methods with generative chat, offering associations a means to personalize their member experience in a previously impossible way.
Using AI-powered techniques, including natural language processing (NLP) and deep learning to understand and respond to customer inquiries and issues, Betty Bot makes it simple for associations to communicate with their members in a natural, efficient, and customizable way.
Who is Betty Holberton?
Born in Philadelphia in March of 1917, Betty Holberton was a pioneering computer scientist and one of the first programmers of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC)—the world’s earliest general-purpose electronic computer.
Her career started in journalism, which she chose because it would enable her to travel and was one of the only fields open to women at the time.
During World War II, the U.S. Army needed support calculating ballistic trajectories. To complete the job, they hired 80 women to manually compute the complex calculations, including Holberton.
Shortly after, in 1945, Holberton was one of six women selected for an experimental project—the first all-electronic digital computer. The women used analog technology to calculate the artillery trajectory equations in seconds.
When unveiled to the public in 1946, John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert were credited with the computer’s design. It was not until years later that Holberton and her five peers were recognized for the programming of the system—the only generation of female programmers to program the ENIAC.
Holberton went on to have a distinguished career in computer science and was later publicly recognized as a computer pioneer before her death in 2001.
In 1997, Holberton and the five other ENIAC programmers were inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame. However, Holberton was the only one in her group to receive the Augusta Ada Lovelace Award, the highest award given by the Association of Women in Computing (AWC).
Holberton was a champion of women in computer science and worked to increase diversity in the field. Holbertons’s main goal was to contribute to the development and advancement of computing technology. She was passionate about programming and determined to make computing accessible and usable for everyone—a mission Bety Bot stands behind.
How One Betty’s Innovation Fueled Another Betty’s Future
Betty Holberton’s commitment to experimentation and using technology to make people’s lives easier and more efficient is where Betty Bot got her name.
Both the conversational bot and computer scientist represent a willingness to experiment with new technologies to push the limits of what is possible in computing for everyone.
Betty Bot’s name serves as a reminder that the innovations of the past continue to inspire and shape the technology of the future and that there is always more to learn and discover.
Join the Bettys in Spearheading Innovation
If your association’s values and goals align with those of Betty Holberton and Betty Bot, you’re in the right place. Stay on top of generative chat by subscribing to Betty’s blog today.