Browse Prior Art Database

The Beginnings at MIT: Excerpts from "Man-Computer Symbiosis"

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129707D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 2 page(s) / 15K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

J.C.R. Licklider: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A bout the same time McCarthy was writing his memorandum to Morse on the mechanics of time-sharing, J.CR Licklider was investigating the concept of man-computer symbiosis, a premonition of man-machine cooperation which is even today not wholly achieved. The following selection from Licklider's ";Man-Computer Symbiosis"; is reprinted with permission from IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics, March 1960 (1960 IRE (now IEEE)).

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 51% of the total text.

Page 1 of 2

THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1992 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

The Beginnings at MIT: Excerpts from "Man-Computer Symbiosis"

J.C.R. Licklider

A bout the same time McCarthy was writing his memorandum to Morse on the mechanics of time-sharing, J.CR Licklider was investigating the concept of man-computer symbiosis, a premonition of man-machine cooperation which is even today not wholly achieved. The following selection from Licklider's "Man-Computer Symbiosis" is reprinted with permission from IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics, March 1960 (1960 IRE (now IEEE)).

Man-machine symbiosis is an expected development in cooperative interaction between man and electronic computers. It will involve close coupling between the human and 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 man 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 relationship 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.

In one sense of course, any man-made system is intended to help man, to help a man or men outside the system. If we focus upon the human operator(s) within the system, however, we see that, in some areas of technology, a fantastic change has taken place during the last few years. "Mechanical extension" has given way to replacement of men, to automation, and the men who remain are there more to help than to be helped. In some instances, particularly in large computer- centered information and control systems, the human operators are responsible mainly...