J. C. R. Licklider
Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider (USA, 1915–1990), initially a scientist in psychoacoustics, went to the computer field to improve the scientific activity through the use of computers. In the 1960s he managed and funded research initiatives that lead to time-sharing and networking.
Libraries of the future
J. C. R. Licklider: Libraries of the future, Massachusetts, 1965.
Report for the Council on Library Resources, that comissioned Licklider to explore how computers could be used in libraries around 2000.
J. C. R. Licklider: Man-Computer Symbiosis, in: ”IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics,“ volume HFE-1, pages 4-11, March 1960. [IRE is now IEEE]
This is the printed summary leading the article:
Man-computer symbiosis is an expected development in cooperative interaction between men and electronic computers. It will involve very close coupling between the human and the electronic members of the partnership. The main aims are 1) to let computers facilitate formulative thinking as they now facilitate the solution of formulated problems, and 2) to enable men and computers to cooperate in making decisions and controlling complex situations without inflexible dependence on predetermined programs. In the anticipated symbiotic partnership, men will set the goals, formulate the hypotheses, determine the criteria, and perform the evaluations. Computing machines will do the routinizable work that must be done to prepare the way for insights and decisions in technical and scientific thinking. Preliminary analyses indicate that the symbiotic partnership will perform intellectual operations much more effectively than man alone can perform them. Prerequisites for the achievement of the effective, cooperative association include developments in computer time sharing, in memory components, in memory organization, in programming languages, and in input and output equipment.
The aimed symbiosis is, as in living organisms, a close cooperation that empowers both sides. Our purpose is neither a mechanical extended man (nor a human extended machine) nor an artificial intelligence that replaces human intelligence.
Instead of batch processing of statical preformulated programs, we intend interactive computing to solve problems one cannot think in advance.
A self-experiment in the own scientific research in psychoacoustics in 1957 resulted in 85 per cent of the time being spent in clerical, repetitive work.
Several hurdles are to overcome for a man-computer symbiosis.
- The speed mismatch between fast, costly computers and humans. Solution: time-sharing systems
- Memory requirements
- The basic dissimility between human languages and computer languages. Instructions given to humans specify goals, whereas instructions to computers specify courses.
- Input (control) and Output (display) equipment. The least advanced department. Ways to go: 1. Desk-Surface Display and Control (man's handwritings are read by the computer and the letters shown at the same place). 2. Computer-Posted Wall Display (for teams). 3. Automatic Speech Production and Recognition.