ArticlePDF Available

Man-computer Symbiosis as a Way of Human Cognitive Enhancement

Abstract

The purpose of the paper is to introduce the history of man-computer symbiosis conception which is closely related to the idea of human cognitive enhancement and human intelligence amplification. Selected works from Licklider, Ashby and Engelbart are discussed and compared to the conception of augmented reality. From the author’s point of view these two conceptions represent two different dimensions of enhancing human experience, the ontological and the cognitive. It is shown in the paper that these two perspectives are related very closely and can be considered as deeply integrated in the future.
E. Žáčková: Man-computer symbiosis... 133
MAN-COMPUTER SYMBIOSIS AS A WAY OF
HUMAN COGNITIVE ENHANCEMENT
by
EVA ŽÁČKOVÁ
The purpose of the paper is to introduce the history of man-computer symbiosis
conception which is closely related to the idea of human cognitive enhancement and
human intelligence amplification. Selected works from Licklider, Ashby and Engel-
bart are discussed and compared to the conception of augmented reality arisen in
the 1990s. In the author’s point of view these two conceptions represent two differ-
ent dimensions of enhancing human experience, the ontological and the cognitive.
It is shown in the paper that these two perspectives are related very closely and can
be considered as deeply integrated in the future.
KEYWORDS
Man-computer symbiosis, augmented reality, mixed reality, cyberspace, human
cognitive enhancement, intelligence amplification, man-machine interface
1. INTRODUCTION
The purpose of the paper is to introduce the history of man-computer sym-
biosis conception which is closely related to the idea of human cognitive en-
hancement and human intelligence amplification. After a brief terminolo-
gical clarification and several notes to the intelligence, I will focus on selec-
ted works from Licklider, Ashby and Engelbart from the 1960s in order to
present the early visions of possible man-computer symbiosis. These are
discussed and compared to the conception of augmented reality fully
evolved in the 1990s together with so-called new taxonomy of reality. Aug -
mented reality technology is developing very fast nowadays and it is mer-
ging progressively its mainly technological standpoint focused on ontolo-
gical problems with the cognitive point of view. It is expectable that conver-
134 Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology [Vol. 5:1
gence of these approaches will offer new practical ways of man-computer
symbiosis.
2. WHAT IS IN THE TITLE?
I perceive the way we are using the word symbiosis for referring to a rela-
tionship between man and computer as kind of symptomatic, much like all
the other scientific metaphors in the history.
It is a fact of common knowledge that the term symbiosis comes from bio-
logy in the meaning of two or more organisms living together.
Concerning computers – artefacts of human activity – we call them com-
puting machines as well. A machine generally indicates some kind of an en-
gine, artificial device; it is certainly not an organism, it is a non-living mech-
anism. In spite of this, the symbiosis was discussed already in the period
when computers only have started to develop. Whereas we have never
talked about symbiosis in case of e.g. steam engine or light bulb, which are
also breakthrough technical devices. Why?
Obviously, we are obsessively bundled with technology guiding us
through every day of our life. We create more and more intimate man-com-
puter interfaces. Today, some people long for physical connection with
computer technology; they want to interface computer on a neural basis,
they want to become cyborgs (self-controlling man-machine systems). In
fact, they want to fuse together with the computer; firstly, because com-
puters do many things easier, faster and more precisely than solely human
brain can ever do computers therefore enhance human capabilities.
Secondly, modern-day computers mean online computer network systems
they connect us in real time with other people, or rather let me say with oth-
er man-computer systems (because everyone using such connection needs a
computer device) through the cyberspace and satisfy and even excite our
social and cognitive needs.
Human enhancement is an expression well established among
transhumanists, technocentrists and their opponents (bioconservatists and
neo-Luddites). The verb enhance comes from the Latin word inaltiare (prefix
in, altus high), it originally meant to make something physically higher. As
time went on, the figurative meaning (to make something better, to improve
some quality or value) outweighed. Nick Bostrom (the founder of
transhumanistic movement) defines human enhancement as “an interven-
2011] E. Žáčková: Man-computer symbiosis... 135
tion that improves the functioning of some subsystem of an organism … or
that creates an entirely new functioning or subsystem”.1
I have to leave out the definition of human being in this case because we
still do not have any universally accepted definition we could use. Never-
theless, we can stay with an intuitive understanding of the term, which is
the most common definition used in such type of research anyway.
The word cognitive is used here just as the discourse of the contemporary
cognitive science prescribes. Any improvement of our ability to learn, to re-
member, to get some knowledge, to recognize, to think and to process in-
formation is meant as a cognitive enhancement.
Moreover, what is also very interesting about the title is the latent as-
sumption that man-computer symbiosis will lead to something positive. In
principle, emphasising man-computer symbiosis as a tool for the immense
rise of human intelligence is the core of that conception.
3. INTELLIGENCE
Intellect and intelligence are derived from the Latin verb intellegere meaning
literally to choose between the possibilities (inter between, among, legere to
choose, pick out). Such a definition completely corresponds with the psy-
chological conception of measurable (quantifiable) intelligence. It has
chimed in with the conceptions of artificial intelligence in the 1960s as well
because computers have always understood only mathematics. Admittedly,
computers manage tasks requiring this type of intelligence (especially the
time-consuming and precision demanding ones) excellently and they actu-
ally go beyond human limits.
The trouble is that problems, which people usually have, are rarely solv-
able by checking the right answer in the questionnaire or by proceeding
mathematical algorithm. Even more, as Joseph Weizenbaum mentioned, for
most of our problems there is no solution at all.2 A human being possesses
intelligence belonging to a specific reference frame which (I believe) we are
not able to express quantitatively; and therefore we are not able to implant
it into a computer. The mentioned frame is human experience, an incredibly
complicated and complex world of man.
1 Bostrom, N. 2007, Dignity and Enhancement, http://www.nickbostrom.com/ethics/dignity-
enhancement.pdf, [Accessed Oct 10 2010].
2Weizenbaum, J. 2002, Mýtus počítače: Počítačový pohled na svět. Ed. Fiala, J. Moraviapress,
Praha.
136 Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology [Vol. 5:1
Nowadays we can read about computers endowed with artificial intelli-
gence coping not only with simple mathematical operations, as the former
computing machines did, but also about those that have started challenging
complex adaptive systems. Anyway, an average man is able to deal with
tens of such systems every day: from anticipation of his partner’s mood or
driving a car in heavy traffic, to righteous adjudication of children’s argu-
ment. We do not need to do routine and mechanical tasks because we have
programmed computers to help us, to make things easier. For example, my
generation cannot imagine how it could be possible to write a diploma thes-
is using a mere mechanical typewriter, with no Internet sources, hypertext
and email communication. Due to computers and mainly computer net-
works (cyberspace) we do not need to reload information from our own
memory; we simply command an electronic memory. We do not need to
bounce along for precious literature kept by far-away library because we
use electronic databases and scanned books in portable document format.
Not only is it safer to convey various issues such as calculating, storage,
analyzing, simulating or searching to a computer, but often it is the only
way how to get a result. I consider as plausible enough that computers
really enhance possibilities of human intellectual capacity in this sense.
However, I certainly hesitate to adopt a conception of purely artificially cre-
ated autonomous intelligence that would replace the human one. Behind all
of these expectations or apprehensions, there is an opinion that quality
emerges from quantity (if the latter reaches an adequate level of
complexity), or more radical theory that the qualitative level of human intel-
ligence is nothing but the delusion and hence there is no need to try to
achieve this level in case of computers as well.
In my opinion, the only true human intelligence is wisdom, which ap-
parently does not require augmented memory, faster processor or automat-
ic information searching, but just the specific human experience, including
digestion of our own stupidity, errors, suffering, helplessness and ulti-
mately the social experience of existence of other people, other selves. In
this moment, no computer can obtain such experience. And the reason for
this is that computers do not have access to such specific human experience
on principle. Together with Weinzenbaum I would like to accentuate that
we must not imagine that computers could be able to solve human problems.
And we must not imagine at all that they should do so.
2011] E. Žáčková: Man-computer symbiosis... 137
4. MAN-COMPUTER SYMBIOSIS CONCEPTIONS IN THE 1960S
In this paper, I focus on conceptions of so-called intelligence amplification
which point to man and computer technology mergence, supporting and
enhancing current cognitive function of human organism and further pre-
serving actual human experience. In contrast to the strong program of artifi-
cial intelligence, I consider the concept of intelligence amplification as a vi-
able perspective.3 We could trace prognoses of man-machine symbiosis par-
ticipating on preparing present AI discourse at least back to the 1920s.4
However, I want to enter the historical excursus upon the time when the
second generation of computers arrived on the scene,5 when transistors re-
placed vacuum tubes and computers were equipped similarly to mod-
ern-day computers. From this period of computer history it is harder to
trace back to a single name of an inventor responsible for a new gadget,
device or progress in computer technology. Nevertheless, we still know
about propellers of that time. In this paper, I notice Ross Ashby – the pion-
eer of cybernetics, and Joseph Licklider – one of the most important people
in the history of computer. Licklider worked for United States Department
of Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) and was the first to
formulate the vision of the network of computers, which led to ARPANET
and later to our Internet. Finally, there is Douglas Carl Engelbart, well
known for his invention of computer mouse. There were many other even
more popular and important names in computer sciences, but hardly any-
body is related as closely to the idea of man-computer symbiosis as these
men.
4.1 ROSS ASHBY: INTELLIGENCE AMPLIFICATION
In his book An Introduction to Cybernetics, from 1957, Ross Ashby titled
one chapter as Amplifying Regulation. According to Ashby, genes are the
first regulators of a human organism. They regulate the organism directly
and give rise to another more sophisticated regulation device the human
3I use the term artificial intelligence at firstly for referring to a large interdisciplinary scientific
field, and secondly for a computer technology. The term intelligence amplification is used in
my paper in a similar way – as a scientific concept belonging under the more general artifi-
cial intelligence discipline, and as a concrete computer technology implementing the theor-
etical concept.
4See for example Haldane, J. B. S. 1924, Daedalus; or Science and the Future, London. Bernal,
J. D. 1929, The Worlds, the Flesh & the Devil. An Enquiry into the Future of the Three
Enemies of the Rationaly Soul, Indiana University Press, Bloomington.
5Period from 1958 to 1965. Compare Naumann, F. 2009, Dějiny informatiky. Od Abaku k in-
ternetu, Academia, Praha, p. 197.
138 Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology [Vol. 5:1
brain, which executes highly complex psychological processes (e. g. learn-
ing, thinking, recognizing) serving to a successful environment adaptation.
We count these processes as intelligence. Ashby’s definition of intelligence
is in accordance with measurable intelligence conceptions mentioned above
and in his time it was strongly supported by behaviourism. He affirms that
“… it is not impossible that ‘intellectual power’ may be equivalent to
‘power of appropriate selection’”6 and the selection, as he discusses previ-
ously in his book7, can be amplified. Ashby insists that creation of intelli-
gence amplifier, heading to an overcoming of human intellectual capacities
and efficient regulation of society, is feasible and desirable as well. It would
help people to understand and handle their mental life and social world
which are for pure human cognition intangible due to their complexness.
Nature regulates mankind by genes. Genes regulate an individual human
being by providing brain development. Brain and actual mental operations
regulate environmental adaptation. We regard this process as natural.
According to Ashby, in the half of the 20th century we were facing an un-
precedented opportunity to extend this process synthetically, artificially
and consciously by creating artificial intelligence amplified intelligence
capable of more effective regulation. Following An Introduction to Cyber-
netics we are not able to disclose a concrete vision of Ashby’s amplified in-
telligence. Two basic realizations can be suggested. The first way of the real-
ization is creation of independent artificial intelligence; the second way is
artificial enhancement of human intelligence by means of man-computer
symbiosis. The conclusion of Ashby’s book could prone to both interpreta-
tions. I assume that although Ashby’s term has been borrowed by later au-
thors mostly in the second meaning, he sympathized rather with the first
scenario. His behavioural conception of intelligence achievable in any medi-
um indicates such way.8
From this perspective his vision of artificial intelligence regulating hu-
man society sounds very provocative and it anticipated futurological move-
ment of singularitarianism9. Singularitarianism on its own reflects the bi-
furcation of the greater-than-human intelligence conception, and elaborates
6Ashby, R. 1957, An Introduction to Cybernetics, Chapman & Hall Ltd, London, p. 272.
7Ibid., pp. 258-259.
8Ibid., p. 272.
9See for example Kurzweil, R. 2005, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology,
Viking, New York.
2011] E. Žáčková: Man-computer symbiosis... 139
on traditional artificial intelligence as well as on human intelligence ampli-
fication.10
4.2 JOSEPH CARL ROBNETT LICKLIDER: MAN-COMPUTER
SYMBIOSIS
Joseph Carl Licklider published his famous paper Man-computer Symbiosis
in 1960.11 He believed that in the near future “human brains and computing
machines will be coupled together very tightly, and that the resulting part-
nership will think as no human brain has ever thought and process data in a
way not approached by the information-handling machines we know today
[in 1960, noted by E. Ž.]”.12
Licklider defines man-computer symbiosis as a kind of a man-machine
system. A traditional man-machine system of the past was a mechanically ex-
tended man13always defining what to do and how to do things. Mechanical
parts of the system are only extensions of a human being (of his eyes or
hands). Licklider does not refer to such a system as to symbiotic system; he
calls it simply semi-automatic system. There is also the case of humanly exten-
ded machines which employ humans only in specific situations.14
Licklider is focused on such relationship between man and computer
that will increase efficiency on both sides. As mentioned above, and as we
have known from the beginning of the computer era, there are tasks that
computers manage with surprising ascendency over man, and conversely,
man handle problems non-solvable by computers. For Licklider, these are
the reasons to define diverse competence domain for each other within their
symbiotic relationship: “Man 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 in-
sights and decisions in technical and scientific thinking.”15
10 See Vinge, V. 1993, ‘The Coming Technological Singularity’, Whole Earth Review, Winter is-
sue.
11 Licklider, J. C. R. 1960, ‘Man-Computer Symbiosis’, IRE Transaction on Human in Electron-
ics, volume HFE-1, pp. 4 – 11.
12 Licklider, J. C. R. 1960, ‘Man-Computer Symbiosis’, In Memoriam: J.C.R. Licklider: 1915-1990,
ed. Taylor, R.W., Digital Systems Research Center Reports 61, Palo Alto, CA, 1990. Avail -
able at www.kmdi.utoronto.ca/rmb/papers/B15.pdf, p. 2.
13 Ibid., p. 2. Licklider uses term mechanically extended man in accordance with J. D. North (The
rational behavior of mechanically extended man, Boulton Paul Aircraft Ltd., Wolverhamp-
ton, Eng., September, 1954.). He refers to him explicitly.
14 Ibid., p. 2.
15 Ibid., p. 1.
140 Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology [Vol. 5:1
Computers were on much lower level in the half of the 20th century than
today. A path towards computer hardware running any software was only be-
ing searched. At that time, computers did not have separated internal and
external memory, often could not fit in a single room, they were too slow
and too expensive. Although Licklider believed that it is only a matter of
time when man will “think in interaction with a computer in the same way
that you think with a colleague whose competence supplements your
own”.16
The only difference will be that computers “will accept clearly secondary
status” in this cooperation.17
Licklider realized impediments to completion of man-computer symbi-
osis. Among other things (as memory organization for example), commu-
nication between man and computer was a fundamental problem. Com-
puter languages have always been (and still they are) based on syntax. On
the other hand, people are using languages containing the semantic level.
For example, people define a goal when they want someone to do something
(e. g. ‘Take your mother to the shopping centre.’). However, when we want
a computer to do the same thing we have to formulate the operation step by
step (e. g. ‘Turn left, lift your arm, open the door, go straight along the
street, turn right at the crossroad etc.’), thereto in a programming language.
Another issue described by Licklider was related to the communication in-
terface. A computer needs to understand the inputs and a man has to be
able to understand the outputs. Today in 2011, we commonly use such com-
puter languages and interfaces. We have already learned how to communic-
ate with computers but as Howard Rheingold says “the future limits of this
technology are not in the hardware but in our minds“18.
Licklider’s conception of man-computer symbiosis was later revitalized
and it is still developing as the conception of human cognitive enhancement
(or human augmentation).
4.3. DOUGLAS CARL ENGELBART: H-LAM/T SYSTEM
Ross Ashby’s amplified intelligence was presented in his book only as a fuzzy
picture of the future. Few years later, Douglas Carl Engelbart published the
16 Ibid., p. 4.
17 Ibid., p. 7.
18 Rheingold, H. 2000, Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Expanding Techno-
logy, http://www.rheingold.com/texts/tft/, [Accessed Jan 01 2011].
2011] E. Žáčková: Man-computer symbiosis... 141
summary report Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptional Frame-
work19 in which he presented concrete frame of further research and pre-
pared basis for practical realization. Similarly to Ashby, Engelbart regards
human intellect augmenting as an evolutionary process that we can observe
since the culture was born.20
He differentiates four basic categories of augmentation means: 1. artefacts;
2. language (for portioning world into the notions); 3. methodology (to pro-
ceed problem solving) and 4. training (in 1. 3.).21 These amplifiers are
highly organized, and according to Engelbart, it synergistically creates func-
tioning structure.22 From his explicitly engineering point of view, it is evid-
ent that if we change (enhance) a part of the structure (containing 1. – 4.) we
can enhance the whole interconnected structure.
A human organism together with this augmenting tools constitutes the
so-called H-LAM/T system; “Human using Language, Artefacts, Methodo-
logy, in which he is Trained”.23 This system, a synergistic superstructure,
helps a human to survive, to be evolutionary successful. Language evolu-
tion is the most fundamental because it enables conceptual grasp of reality
and symbolic representation (necessary for thinking). The computers fit in
the H-LAM/T system as artefacts helping us manipulate with symbols on a
higher level. This type of manipulation goes beyond human abilities.24
According to Engelbart, “the explicit nature of future improved systems
would be highly affected by expected changes in our technology or in our
understanding of the human being”.25
5. AUGMENTED REALITY
The introduced conceptions of man-computer symbiosis were developing
and proliferating in the outlined way till the 1990s, when Internet spread
out and communication technology progressed. In this time, fifteen years
ago, new strange terms have started to be used in laboratories of communic-
ation technologies (mixed reality, augmented reality and simulated reality). It
19 Engelbart, D. C. 1962, Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptional Framework, prepared
for: Director of Information sciences Air force office of scientific research, Washington 25,
D.C.
20 Ibid, p. 19.
21 Ibid., p. 9.
22 Ibid., p. 31.
23 Ibid., p. 11.
24 Ibid., p. 25.
25 Ibid., p. 7.
142 Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology [Vol. 5:1
happened because in these laboratories they needed new words for discuss-
ing what they were working on. A new taxonomy of reality was necessary.
In 1994 Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino published their concept of reality-
virtuality continuum in the paper A Taxonomy of Mixed Reality Visual Dis-
plays.26
Reality-virtuality continuum is the term referring to all cases in which real
and virtual objects are presented together in one single environment
through any display technique. There is a real environment at one end of the
continuum and virtual environment at the opposite side. Augmented reality ly-
ing between these extremes is the most interesting and essential. Sometimes
it is called mixed reality. There is also augmented virtuality lying closer to the
right end of the virtual continuum, but the only difference (irrelevant for us)
is the proportion of real and virtual. In any case they are both mixed. Ac-
cording to Azuma, augmented reality includes all systems which combine
real and virtual objects, which are interactive in real time and which are dis-
played in a three-dimensional format.27Azuma also refers to a special case of
using AR technologies which “remove real objects from the perceived envir-
onment”. This is called mediated or diminished reality”.28 Thereby the tax-
onomy of realities is multiplied all the more.
Technologies are nowadays far more sophisticated than in the nineties,
hence Milgram’s and Kishino’s taxonomy cannot involve all multifarious
cases of contemporary augmentations of reality. Famous examples of aug-
mented reality technologies application (available commonly) are EyePet,
Zugara´s AR Dressing Room, USPS Priority Mail Virtual Box Simulator (for
PC), Metro Paris Subway iPhone and iPod Touch Application, Layar (for
mobile devices), ARQuake, EyeTap or Tinmith (wearable AR). From the be-
ginning, AR technology has aspired to be implemented as a wearable tech-
nology. For this purpose the head mounted displays have been used to
provide audio-visual information, sometimes special gloves for manipula-
tion with virtual objects are engaged as well. However, the wearable AR
technologies (closely related to the general idea of wearable computers), as
for example EyeTap or some kind of eye-wear device, are desired because
26 Milgram, P., Kishino, F. 1994, ‘A Taxonomy of Mixed Reality Virtual Displays‘, IEICE
Transactions on Information and Systems E77-D, 9, pp. 1321–1329.
27 Azuma, T. R. 1997, ‘A Survey of Augmented Reality‘, Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual
Environments 6, 4, pp. 355-385.
28 Azuma, T. R. et al. 2001,‘Recent Advances in Augmented Reality‘, Computer Graphics and
Applications, IEEE, Volume 21, Issue 6, p. 34.
2011] E. Žáčková: Man-computer symbiosis... 143
of their “hands-free nature” and “walk-up and ready-to-use aspect”, which
allow the user to “receive the information just by looking at the desired
artefact.”29 Such applications are not available to a common user yet, be-
cause serious technological and user interface limitations persist. In addi-
tion to the traditional tools for generating augmented reality, the brain-ma-
chine interfaces (BMI) are considered to be the way of reality extension.
The frontier between AR technology and brain-machine interface used to
be the frontier between the conceptions of augmented reality and augmen-
ted intelligence. AR technology has been for the most part a domain of com-
puter scientists and their point of view has been directed at changes in the
ontological sphere (reality). On the other hand, brain-machine interfaces
have been a hot topic for neuroscientists, who have focused on cognitive
changes and the noetic sphere (intelligence). We can consider a brain implant
serving for faster calculation or providing access to external data storage
both as a cognitive enhancement and a reality augmentation, because the
first one sets a new perspective for perceiving a richer field of reality, new
entities with (unexplored) ontological status. Nonetheless, the rapproche-
ment of the ontological and the cognitive dimension can be seen for ex-
ample in so-called augmented reality-brain-machine interface, which use EEG-
based BMI system (it means non-invasive technique) and the traditional AR
technology.30 Kenji and his team demonstrated in their study that a human
is able to reach a cognitive enhancement by the new capability to manipu-
late with a robot just by thoughts, and moreover can (in the same way – by
thoughts) manipulate virtual objects (and by their means another distant
real objects as well) sensed by that robot in external environment.31
6. CONCLUSION
Something has changed in comparison with the 1960s. In the 1990s the con-
ception of immersive virtual reality prevailed. However, today we tend to
use technologies that allow staying in full touch with the primary reality32
and keep us in connection with cyberspace in the same time. As soon as we
settled in every day every minute living together with computer techno-
29 Thomas, B. H, Sandor, Ch. 2009, ‘What Wearable Augmented Reality Can Do for You’, Per-
vasive Computing, IEEE, April 2009, p. 8, 11.
30 Kenji, K. et al. 2010, ‘My Thoughts through A Robot’s Eyes: An Augmented Real-
ity-Brain-Machine Interface’, Neuroscience Research, 66, pp. 219-222.
31 Ibid.
32 I use term primary reality in the meaning of common physical reality, counterpart of virtual
reality.
144 Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology [Vol. 5:1
logy, we woke up in a new mixed reality. Augmented reality is a logical con-
sequence of an augmented human. We have always been fascinated by a
possibility to overcome the human nature and now we are again amazed
and overwhelmed by inventing and entering a new reality. At present, the
conception of augmented reality and conception of augmented (enhanced)
human intelligence are converging into the united perspective and I take fu-
ture even deeper integration of these conceptions for granted.
REFERENCES
[1] Ashby, R. 1957, An Introduction to Cybernetics, Chapman & Hall Ltd., London.
[2] Azuma, T. R. 1997, ‘A Survey of Augmented Reality‘, Presence: Teleoperators
and Virtual Environments 6, 4, pp. 355-385.
[3] Azuma, T. R. et al. 2001,‘Recent Advances in Augmented Reality‘, Computer
Graphics and Applications, IEEE, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp. 34-47.
[4] Bernal, J. D. 1929, The Worlds, the Flesh & the Devil. An Enquiry into the Future
of the Three Enemies of the Rationaly Soul, Indina University Press, Bloomington.
[5] Bostrom, N. 2007, Dignity and Enhancement, http://www.nickbostrom.com/eth-
ics/dignity-enhancement.pdf, [Accessed Oct 10 2010].
[6] Engelbart, D. C. 1962, Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptional Frame-
work, prepared for: Director of Information Sciences Air force Office of Scientific Re-
search, Washington 25, D.C.
[7] Haldane, J. B. S. 1924, Daedalus; or Science and the Future, London.
[8] Kenji, K. et al. 2010, ‘My Thoughts through A Robot’s Eyes: An Augmented
Reality-Brain-Machine Interface’, Neuroscience Research, 66, pp. 219-222.
[9] Kurzweil, R. 2005, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology,
Viking, New York.
[10] Licklider, J. C. R. 1960, ‘Man-Computer Symbiosis’, In Memoriam: J.C.R.
Licklider: 1915-1990, ed. Taylor, R.W., Digital Systems Research Center Reports 61,
Palo Alto, CA, 1990. Available at www.kmdi.utoronto.ca/rmb/papers/B15.pdf.
[11] Milgram, P., Kishino, F. 1994, ‘A Taxonomy of Mixed Reality Virtual Displays‘,
IEICE Transactions on Information and Systems E77-D, 9, pp. 1321–1329. Available
at hhtp://vered.rose.utoronto.ca/people/paul_dir/IEICE94/ieice.html.
[12] Naumann, F. 2009, Dějiny informatiky. Od Abaku k internetu, Academia,
Praha.
[13] Rheingold, H. 2000, Tools for Thought: The History and Future of Mind-Ex-
panding Technology, http://www.rheingold.com/texts/tft/, [Accessed Jan 01 2011].
[14] Thomas, B. H, Sandor, Ch. 2009, ‘What Wearable Augmented Reality Can Do
for You’, Pervasive Computing, IEEE, April 2009, pp. 8-11.
[15] Vinge, V. 1993, ‘The Coming Technological Singularity’, Whole Earth Review,
Winter issue.
[16] Weizenbaum, J. 2002, Mýtus počítače: Počítačový pohled na svět. Ed. Fiala, J.
Moraviapress, Praha.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
Mixed Reality (MR) visual displays, a particular subset of Virtual Reality (VR) related technologies, involve the merging of real and virtual worlds somewhere along the 'virtuality continuum' which connects completely real environments to completely virtual ones. Augmented Reality (AR), probably the best known of these, refers to all cases in which the display of an otherwise real environment is augmented by means of virtual (computer graphic) objects. The converse case on the virtuality continuum is therefore Augmented Virtuality (AV). Six classes of hybrid MR display environments are identified. However quite different groupings are possible and this demonstrates the need for an efficient taxonomy, or classification framework, according to which essential differences can be identified. An approximately three-dimensional taxonomy is proposed comprising the following dimensions: extent of world knowledge, reproduction fidelity, and extent of presence metaphor.
Article
The acceleration of technological progress has been the central feature of this century. We are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth. The precise cause of this change is the imminent creation by technology of entities with greater-than-human intelligence. The chapter presents some possible projects that take on special significance, given the intelligence amplification (IA) point of view. These examples illustrate research that can be done within the context of contemporary computer science departments. This discussion of IA would yield some clearly safer approaches to the Singularity. The problem is not simply that the technological Singularity represents the passing of humankind from center stage, but that it contradicts our most deeply held notions of being. A closer look at the notion of strong superhumanity can show why that is.
Article
"Tools for Thought is an exercise in retrospective futurism; that is, I wrote it in the early 1980s, attempting to look at what the mid 1990s would be like. My odyssey started when I discovered Xerox PARC and Doug Engelbart and realized that all the journalists who had descended upon Silicon Valley were missing the real story. Yes, the tales of teenagers inventing new industries in their garages were good stories. But the idea of the personal computer did not spring full-blown from the mind of Steve Jobs. Indeed, the idea that people could use computers to amplify thought and communication, as tools for intellectual work and social activity, was not an invention of the mainstream computer industry nor orthodox computer science, nor even homebrew computerists. If it wasn't for people like J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Bob Taylor, Alan Kay, it wouldn't have happened. But their work was rooted in older, equally eccentric, equally visionary, work, so I went back to piece together how Boole and Babbage and Turing and von Neumann -- especially von Neumann - created the foundations that the later toolbuilders stood upon to create the future we live in today. You can't understand where mind-amplifying technology is going unless you understand where it came from."
Article
A brain-machine interface (BMI) uses neurophysiological signals from the brain to control external devices, such as robot arms or computer cursors. Combining augmented reality with a BMI, we show that the user's brain signals successfully controlled an agent robot and operated devices in the robot's environment. The user's thoughts became reality through the robot's eyes, enabling the augmentation of real environments outside the anatomy of the human body. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society.
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.