In 1948, C.E. Shannon published
an article titled "The Mathematical Theory of Communication," which quickly
became known as Information Theory. IT made it possible to determine the
theoretical limit of any channel's information-carrying capacity. Using IT as
a mathematical benchmark, engineers were finally able to provide efficient,
error-free transmission over noisy channels. IT also made possible the
development of digital systems, which handle information ? voice, data video ?
in streams of coded pulses. Without Information Theory, the Web would not
Four years after he published his ground-breaking theory, Shannon invented an electrical mouse with a telephone relay switch brain. Its ability to find its way through a maze demonstrated that computers could learn, a startling revelation to those who, until then, had used them only as giant adding machines.