Documentary on Joseph Weizenbaum, computer pioneer, Rebel at Work

January 5, 2011

Il Mare Film | [Weizenbaum] created the first banking computer in the world, was perhaps one of the first computer nerds ever and pursued an unprecedented career at MIT, where he invented the first virtual persona, ELIZA/DOCTOR, a program that engaged humans in conversation with a computer.  Later, Weizenbaum was branded as a heretic when he began to criticize his colleagues in public.  Joseph Weizenbaum eventually became a “preacher.” strictly demanding responsibility of each individual scientist, condemning war and arguing that mankind have become insane.

The film spans 8 decades of Joseph Weizenbaum’s life. It provides a stage for his humorous narrative depicting a World of Yesterday while reflecting on the dawn of the computer age. It follows 84-year-old Weizenbaum on some of his numerous public lessons, effortlessly entertaining overcrowded lecture halls.