Doug’s vision was quite simply to augment our collective intellect. The vision is not complicated but it is dismissed by many as being vague and others think there must be more to it. We venture that the key aspect to his work was his paradigm, his perspective of how he viewed the world and knowledge work because his philosophy – and perhaps despite his philosophy – after all, he did manage to produce real work which solved real problems which was shown off in his great demo. Simply and briefly:
We need to improve how we
augment a group’s (small, large, internal, global etc.) …
capability to approach urgent, complex problems …
to gain more rapid and better comprehension (which can be defined as more thorough and more critical) …
which result in speedier and better solutions (more contextual, longer lasting, cheaper, more equitable etc.)
And furthermore, we must improve our improvement process (as individuals and groups)
ENGELBART TERMS : organizational
All of the terms below are also available as blog entries in our nascent Glossary system: doug-50.info/journal/category/engelbart-term/ and are presented here simply as a brief introductory overview. There is also a glossary for further terms and projects for our DKR effort: doug-50.info/journal/category/glossary-entry/
ENGELBART TERMS : tools
For more of Doug's terminology, please refer to the 'What Is Still Missing' section.
VINT CERF on DOUG ENGELBART
Vint Cerf, co-invnetor of the Internet and friend of Doug's writes: “Douglas Engelbart believed that computers could be used to augment human intellect and J.C.R. Licklider agreed with him. Doug and his team manifested this belief with his oNLine System, NLS. This was a document production and sharing environment intended to enhance collaborative work expressed in document form. There were many features of the system that shaped document production to enhance the structure and style of the documents and to facilitate cross-referencing through hyperlinking. Licklider's primary contribution, among others, was to pursue computer interconnection through the ARPANET project which led to the design and development of the Internet initially designed by Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf. Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau invented the World Wide Web protocols (Hypertext Transport Protocol, HTTP and Hypertext Markup Language, HTML and servers and browsers to implement them).
In the 21st Century, we have cloud computing that offers far more computing capacity to billions of users and we are developing new artificial intelligence tools including hardware-based machine learning, multi-level neural networks, machine translation tools, pattern recognition mechanisms and a host of other capabilities. The question is how to apply these new and powerful tools in a cooperative partnership with human users to augment our intellectual capabilities. We have already seen the effects of social media in the Internet and the power of search tools to sift through the vast and growing content of the Internet/WWW. Will these tools enhance the creation and curation of human knowledge? Can they be applied to developing better models of the way the world works so as to manage scarce resources better, to distribute knowledge and capabilities more uniformly and to generally improve the human condition on a global scale? I am confident that, were he alive today, Douglas Engelbart would have answered these questions in the positive and gone on to seek ways of finding and applying those answers.
It is up to us to follow in his footsteps to seek those answers and to put them to work for the benefit of all who inhabit this precious planet, Earth. It is that vision that we will celebrate December 9, 2018.”