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  • What Was Once Science Fiction…

    Posted on January 31st, 2012 halliedominick No comments

    During the 1960s, it was possible to rent a book from the library regarding computers. (Who knew?) What was even more surprising was that this book would be stored under the genre “science fiction.” Today, when we think of science fiction we think of aliens, space ships, and robots. (Not computers?) We all know that computers are far from these things. What was once science fiction has remained science but become transformed from fiction to reality.

    We have partially brought to life what was referred to as “man-computer symbiosis,” an idea first proposed by J.C. R. Licklider. This was an idea that encouraged a loving relationship between man and his computer. Not only would the computer aid man but also work in partnership with man.

    Whether we are using the computer for simple problems (Microsoft office) or complex problems (the Internet), it has become our “go-to” electronic. We “go-to” the computer if we have any sort of question needing an answer. Writing an essay in Microsoft office or finding information on the Internet for this essay have transformed from what was once the exception to what is now the rule. We were not conscious of this transition as it was occurring. If this shift was possible, presumably the next step would be that one day the computer would become more intelligent than a human. The computer may stretch the human brain beyond it’s limit. It may at some point outsmart humans. With this, our hope is that the computer would work in partnership with a human. I would compare it to doing homework with a friend in class. The computer may have the answer to a problem that the human was not able to reach on their own. From here Licklider’s idea of “man-computer symbiosis” will have been fully fulfilled.