Everything Will Happen:

Humanities Can't Be Computed

There are 2 ways of looking at computing artificial intelligence” — John McCarthy told Jeffery Mishlove — “you can look at it from the point of view of biology or point of view of computer science

It was 1959 when Marvin Minsky and John McCarthy founded MIT's AI Lab. They were intrigued by the idea that humanities, and more specifically intelligence can be computationally modeled.

This school of thought was in more than one way a pursuit of the activities an artificial intelligent system could take, driven by a physicalist approach and blind to the idea of stationary intelligence.


All this time Doug Engelbart and Alan Kay were building user–centric, augmentation tools in California.

Their respective work at The Center for intelligence augmentation in Menlo Park and Xerox Parc made the foundation for personal computing in both hardware and software.

In the Mother of all Demos Doug Engelbart first showed what were to become the first steps in personal computing: computer mouse, hypertext, version control and more.

Kay was working on a variety of educational, and other user centric tools (including the Dynabook, an early education machine, that looked like a hybrid between a laptop and an iPad).

Those teams were already starting to put into place ideas about user interfaces and usability. Taking a much more protopian approach – their work had more to do with specialist intelligence that could assist humanistic endeavors, than attempts to compute our general purpose intelligence.


I see a future of thinking machines, as a collaborative one. We could plug cognitive tools to our every day systems. Access to knowledge will be even more ubiquitous than it is now and computers will give us all of the answers, in return to our creative questioning.


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