July 1968
Final Report

STUDY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN INTELLECT AUGMENTATION TECHNIQUES

Prepared for:

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
LANGLEY RESEARCH CENTER
MAIL STOP126
LANGLEY STATION
HAMPTON, VIRGINIA 23365

CONTRACT NAS1-5904

By: D. C. Engelbart

SRI Project No. 5890

Approved:

BONNAR COX, ACTING MANAGER
Systems Engineering Laboratory
TORBEN MEISLING, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Information Science and Engineering
 
User's Work-Station Console

Abstract

This report covers a two-year project, at the ninth year of a growing, multiproject program that is exploring the value of computer aids to augmenting human intellectual capability. Outlined briefly are the background and the "bootstrapping" nature of the program (e.g., the report was produced with the experimental computer aids) and its status at the start of this project. Advances during the project were in the programming system (CRT on-line debugging, etc.), in both off-line and on-line computer-aided text-manipulation systems implemeoted on a CDC 3100, and in specifications, designs, and nearly completed implementation of a time-shared system on an SDS 940, which will be committed to serving 12 on-line CRT consoles for this program. Special features of the design include commercial-TV display consoles, special equipment to reduce CPU overhead to a few percent for servicing I/O, a new machine-oriented, systems programmer compiler language (MOL940), a compiler-compiler (Tree Meta), and a Control Metalanguage Translator for compiling the interactive part of the on-line system from a special Control Metalanguage description. Experiences with usage to date lead to an assortment of future research possibilities for both the computer aids and their utilization. A "Bootstrap Community" provides the planning basis for the choice and character of future research activities.

Foreword

This is the final report of a two-year project at Stanford Research Institute in man-computer interaction.The project has been jointly sponsored by NASA and ARPA,and providesthe nucleus for a continuing, multi-sponsor program organized within the Augmented Human Intellect (AHI) Research Center.The Center's research program has been building up at SRI since 1959, via a series of coordinated projects and facility-development stages.

One of the experimental activities of the project is to keep its working records in computer storage, and to do as much as possible of the daily manipulationwith real-time interactive computer aids. As an example, except for diagrams and photographs, this entire report has been carried through all of its stages of composition, modification, and production by such means (i.e.through the automatic preparation of reproduction copy).

CONTENTS

ABSTRACT iii
FOREWARD [sic!] iv
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS vi
SUMMARY vii
  1. INTRODUCTION 1
  2. RESEARCH STRATEGY AND ENVIRONMENT 3
  3. DEVELOPMENTS IN USER-SYSTEM FEATURES 11
  4. DEVELOPMENTS IN SYSTEM-DESIGN TECHNIQUES 26
  5. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 36
  6. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 52
REFERENCES 54

SUMMARY

Chapter I of this report is a general introduction to the activities of the AHI Research Center at Stanford Research Institute and to the facilities in use for the research. Chapter II describes the strategy of research and the experimental environment in the Center, entailing a "bootstrapping" concept and complex systems for on-line, interactive computer aid to intellect on a daily, full-time basis.

Chapter III describes the development of user systems -- the aspects of the computer systems that are apparent and useful to the user; Chapter IV deals with special system-design techniques which have evolved in the implementation of user systems.

Chapter V is a discussion of the results that have been observed from intensive usage of the systems, in terms of possibilities for human intellect augmentation. Chapter VI presents conclusions and recommendations.

Digital version created by Michael Friedewald, Technische Hochschule Aachen, Germany, 1997.