Engelbart: “Augmenting Human Intellect”. “By “augmenting human intellect” we mean increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex. C. Engelbart, and William K. English, AFIPS Conference Proceedings of the Fall 2a In the Augmented Human Intellect (AHI) Research Center at Stanford. Final report of in-depth study conducted by Doug Engelbart into improving human intellect and human effectiveness, outlining a.

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As we are currently using it, the term includes the organization, study, modification, and execution of processes and process structures.

Intelligence amplification

It is principally this kind of means for external symbol manipulation that has been associated with the evolution of the individual’s present way of doing his concept manipulation thinking. And suppose that there was only so much applicable talent available to the total system. The elements intellfct are organized to give fixed structural form to our physical objects—e.

There is a intellext used in psychology, cognitive structure, which so intelleect seems to represent just what augmentingg want for our concept of mental structure, but we will not intellecr it until we become more sure of what the accepted psychological meaning is and of what we want for our conceptual framework.

This page was last edited on 27 Septemberat In the limit of what we might now imagine, this could be a computer, with which we could communicate rapidly and easily, coupled to a three-dimensional color display within which it could construct extremely sophisticated images—with the computer being able to execute a wide variety of processes upon parts or all of these images in automatic response to human direction.

On the top of the memex is a transparent platen. Occasionally he inserts a comment of his own, either linking it into the main trail or joining it by a side trail to a particular item. His work not only individual and a group of individual but between is not only technical but a theory of society that can be improved individual intelligence and collective intelligence.

Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework

With only non-symbolic concept manipulation, we could probably build primitive shelter, evolve strategies of war and hunt, play games, and make practical jokes. Instead, he begins from a group of basic sensory-mental-motor process capabilities, and adds to these certain of the process capabilities of his artifacts. Gradually the screen begins to show the work he is doing—a neat excavation appears in the hillside revises itself slightly, and revises itself again.

But there is a very large — maybe primary — factor, which is emotional involvement. You can integrate your new ideas more easily, and thus harness your creativity more continuously, if you can quickly and flexibly change your working record.

This division is a very clever move. The explicit new system we contemplate will involve as artifacts computers, and computer-controlled information-storage, information-handling, and information-display devices.

If this is true, and if language is as it seems to be a part of a self-organizing system, then it seems probable that the state of a language at a given time strongly affects its own evolution to a succeeding state. It is an interesting trail, pertinent to the discussion.


If affords an immediate step, however, to associative indexing, the basic idea of which is a provision whereby any item may be caused at will to select immediately and automatically another. Although every sub-process is a process in its own right, in that it consists of further sub-processes, there seems to be no point here in looking for the ultimate bottom of the process-hierarchical structure.

For the american scientist, this. Furthermore, even quite different higher order processes may have in common relatively high-order sub-processes. The efficiency of organization within the superstructure is now doubly important so that a minimum of talent in the superstructure produces a maximum of organizational efficiency in directing the productivity of the remaining talent.

He sits at a working station that has a visual display screen some three feet on a side; this is his working surface, and is controlled by a computer his “clerk” with which he can communicate by means of a small keyboard and various other devices.

This situation is typical for any of us engaged in reasonably demanding types of professional pursuits, and yet we have never received explicit training in optimum ways of carrying out any but a very few of the roles at a very few of the levels. Army he Engelbart use the example of an augmented architect at work. Augmenting man’s intellect, in the sense defined above, would warrant full pursuit by an enlightened society if there could be shown a reasonable approach and some plausible benefits.

He define three expert of technology Engelbart does not seem intersted to develop categories in this process capabilities: As an comprehension of how his system works. For what class of problems does paper and pencil help? One aspect of the structure is the physical grouping of the cards at a given time—which happens to be the only aspect of the over-all structuring that my human capabilities can make direct use of—and in this respect I can execute processes which produce restructuring that is, physical re grouping that helps me considerably to perceive and assimilate the concepts of worth to me.

The term “intelligence amplification” seems applicable to our goal of augmenting the human intellect in that the entity to be produced will exhibit more of what can be called intelligence than an unaided human could; we will have amplified the intelligence of the human by organizing his intellectual capabilities into higher levels of synergistic structuring. What are some other examples of small changes in basic capabilities that cause large changes in the repertoire hierarchy?

Examples of systems for structuring symbols: It is a very important system to our society, and like most systems its performance can best be improved by considering the whole as a set of interacting components rather than by considering the components in isolation. This illustrative example is not to be considered a description of the actual system that will emerge from the program.

Thus, inside this instrument the computer there is an internal-image, computer-symbol structure whose convolutions and multi-dimensionality we can learn to shape to represent to hitherto unattainable accuracy the concept structure we might be building or working with.


Whereas concept structuring and symbol structuring together represent the language component of our augmentation means, process structuring represents the methodology component plus a little more, actually. For first, Engelbart state that is a are planted the ‘conceptual seeds’ that will grow and the fruits of priority to find out the factors that limit the effectiveness of which will be the internet, the hypertext, the World Wide Web and human information-handling capabilities for solving problems.

On the top are slanting translucent screens, on which material can be projected for convenient reading. He spends the last two pages a quarter of his article describing a device embodying this capability, and points out some features of its use and of its likely effect.

The inheritance from the master becomes, not only his additions to the world’s record, but for his disciples the entire scaffolding by which they were erected. They could manipulate these concepts within their minds to a certain extent, and think about situations in the abstract.

Engelbart: Augmenting Human Intellect ()

Similar capability breakdowns will occur for sensory and cognitive capabilities. Any file is a symbol structure whose purpose is to represent a variety of concepts and concept structures in a way that makes them maximally available and useful to the needs of the human’s mental-structure development—within the limits imposed by the capability of the artifacts and human augmentnig jointly executing processes of symbol-structure manipulation.

We may some day click off arguments on a machine with the same assurance that we now enter sales on a cash register.

If by some magical process the production workers could still know just what to do and when to do it even though the superstructure of contractors was removed from above them, no one would know the difference. Capabilities Engelbart divides our augmented problem-solving capabilities up: Possible sources of inspiration may come from: It’s tempting to focus primarily on changes to basic capabilities.

Engelbart: “Augmenting Human Intellect”

In such a case, one might make uhman list of steps and check each item off as it is executed. Questions Is there a theory of how humans and machines work together? The computer can transform back and forth between the two-dimensional portrayal on the screen, of some limited view of the total structure, and the aspect of the n-dimensional internal image that represents this “view.

It is a suggestive thought, but it hardly warrants prediction without losing touch with reality and immediateness. We can illustrate this executive superstructure by considering it as though it were a network of contractors and subcontractors in which each capability in the repertoire hierarchy is represented by an independent contractor whose mode of operation is to do the planning, make up specifications, subcontract the actual work, and supervise the performance of his subcontractors.