Portable Engelbart

“In the outside world, all forms of intelligence, whether of sound or sight, have been reduced to the form of varying currents in an electric circuit in order that they may be transmitted. Inside the human frame exactly the same sort of process occurs. Must we always transform to mechanical movements in order to proceed from one electrical phenomenon to another? It is a suggestive thought, but it hardly warrants prediction without losing touch with reality and immediateness.”

Every complex being or movement can be reduced to a collection of simple forms of energy. Engelbart asserts that we may not have to reduce these things in the future.

The idea of reducing complex items into simpler components connects to the Music Genome Project of Pandora. Pandora’s musical analysts break down hundreds of songs into their algorithms and melodies to connect to other similar songs. They are taking apart the song the same way that the human brain differentiates the various parts that they like and dislike.

“In such a future working relationship between human problem-solver and computer ‘clerk,’ the capability of the computer for executing mathematical processes would be used whenever it was needed. However, the computer has many other capabilities for manipulating and displaying information that can be of significant benefit to the human in nonmathematical processes of planning, organizing, studying, etc. Every person who does his thinking with symbolized concepts (whether in the form of the English language, pictographs, formal logic, or mathematics) should be able to benefit significantly.”

In the future, computers will be of more benefit than mathematical calculations. Computers will be able to use symbols and different systems to aid with planning, organizing, studying, etc.


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