Michael Shulman's Shared Notes

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While the capabilities of the computer as a tool for thought form the foundation for its augmentation of intelligence, equally important is our ability to use that tool - to give instruction to the computer.

  • In early days of computing, all instructions had to be input via punch cards, and visual displays were largely text-based [@Rheingold1985]. Even the addition of some basic graphics required a supplementary screen with a dedicated technology. Communication between human and machine was very rudimentary. With the introduction of successively more sophisticated programming languages, programmers were able to give richer instructions to computers, and with time, create interfaces such that non-programmers could talk to computers in specific ways [@Rheingold1985]. This last step was an important one, as it finally presented some of the power of computing to those who did not program - in other words, to those who did not speak computer. Computers were finally learning to speak our language, rather than we, theirs. Recent advances in natural language recognition have improved further the ability of computers to understand our language, and the field of Brain-Computer Interfacing [BCI; @Wolpaw.Birbaumer.ea2002] is exploring how in the future we might interface more symbiotically with computers and realize early visions of the computer as a symbiotic tool [@Licklider1960a].
Scribbles on dimensions of technology