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Issue No.03 - July-September (2003 vol.25)
pp: 62-77
Chigusa Ishikawa Kita , Kyoto University
ABSTRACT
<p>The Information Processing Techniques Office of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (IPTO/ARPA) was founded in 1962 as a step toward realizing a flexible military command and control system. In setting the IPTO's research agenda for funding, its first director, J.C.R. Licklider, emphasized the development of time-sharing systems. This article looks at how Licklider's early vision of "a network of thinking centers" helped set the stage for the IPTO's most famous project: the Arpanet.</p>
CITATION
Chigusa Ishikawa Kita, "J.C.R. Licklider's Vision for the IPTO", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.25, no. 3, pp. 62-77, July-September 2003, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2003.1226656
REFERENCES
1. M. Campbell-Kelly and W. Aspray, Computer: A History of the Information Machine, Basic Books, 1996, p. 212.
2. Committee on Innovations in Computing and Communications: Lessons from History, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, National Research Council, Funding a Revolution: Government Support for Computing Research, National Academy Press, 1999, p. 56.
3. A.L. Norberg and J.E. O'Neill, Transforming Computer Technology: Information Processing for the Pentagon, 1962-1986, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1996, pp. 58-59.
4. According to the ARPA internal memo directed to the organization Licklider funded, from J.C.R. Licklider to members and affiliates of the Intergalactic Computer Network, in J.C.R. Licklider Papers (MC 499), Inst. Archives and Special Collections, Mass. Inst. of Technology Libraries, Cambridge, Mass. (hereafter referred to as Licklider Papers at MIT Libraries), box 7, folder "1963," the distribution is for SDC (System Development Corp.); Stanford Research Inst.; Stanford Univ.; Univ. of California (Berkeley); Univ. of California (Los Angeles); Carnegie Inst. of Technology; Information Int'l Inc.; MIT; Thompson-Ramo-Woolridge. The fact that the eight organizations were related to time-sharing was confirmed through Norberg and O'Neill, Transforming Computing Technology, pp. 102-103 and accompanying references.
5. Norberg and O'Neill Transforming Computing Technology, pp. 9-10.
6. Inst. for Defense Analyses, Research and Eng. Support Division, Computers in Command and Control, tech. report 61-12, Nov. 1961, p. 1.
7. Ibid., p. 2.
8. Ibid., p. 62.
9. Norberg and O'Neil Transforming Computer Technology, pp. 84-85; W. Clark, "The LINC Was Early and Small," A History of Personal Workstations, A. Goldberg, ed., ACM Press, 1988, p. 358.
10. E. Fredkin, "The Time Sharing of Computers," Computers and Automation, Nov. 1963, vol. 12, no. 11. p. 12.
11. I.E. Sutherland, Sketchpad: A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System, master's thesis, Dept. of Electrical Eng., MIT, Jan. 1963, MIT theses, no. 1963-10, chapter 2: "History of Sketchpad," p. 24.
12. I.E. Sutherland, "Sketchpad: A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System," AFIPS Proc. Spring Joint Computer Conf., Spartan Books, vol. 23, 1963, pp. 329-345.
13. F. Gruenberger ed. Computer Graphics: Utility/Production/Art, Thompson Book Co., 1967, pp. 44-45.
14. D.C. Engelbert, "The Augmented Knowledge Workshop," A History of Personal Workstations, A. Goldberg, ed., ACM Press, 1988, pp. 191-192.
15. See for example, H. Rheingold, Tools for Thought: The People and Ideas behind the Next Computer Revolution, Simon&Schuster, 1985, chapter 7; Norberg and O'Neill,Transforming Computer Technology, pp. 26-30; Campbell-Kelly and Aspray, Computer, pp. 212-215; P.E. Ceruzzi, A History of Modern Computing, MIT Press, 1998, p. 306. Also see Licklider's biographical history: M.M. Waldrop, The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computer Personal, Viking, 2001.
16. E. Bennet, J. Degan, and J. Spiegel eds. Military Information Systems, Frederick A. Praeger, 1964, preface, p. ix.
17. J.C.R. Licklider,, "Artificial Intelligence, Military Intelligence, and Command and Control," Military Information Systems, 1964, pp. 118-133.
18. Ibid., pp. 123-124.
19. J.C.R. Licklider and W.E. Clark, "On-Line Man-Computer Communication," AFIPS Proc. 1962 Spring Joint Computer Conf., Spartan Books, vol. 21, May 1962, p. 113.
20. In relation to the term of agenda see M.S. Mahoney,"The Structures of Computation," The First Computers: History and Architectures, R. Rojas and U. Hashagen, eds., MIT Press, 2000, pp. 20-21: "The agenda of a field consists of what its practitioners agree ought to be done, a consensus concerning the problems of the field, their order of importance or priority, the means of solving them, and perhaps most importantly, what constitutes a solution."
21. L. Beranek, "Roots of the Internet: A Personal History," The Massachusetts Historical Rev., vol. 2, 2000, pp. 57-59.
22. In 1959, the PDP-1 prototype came to BBN before its official release. See, for example, "The Project MAC Interviews," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 14, no. 2, Apr.-June 1992, pp. 16-17. A photo of the prototype can been seen in G. Bell, J.C. Mudge, and J.E. McNamara, Computer Engineering: A DEC View of Hardware Systems Design, Digital Press, 1978, p. 135. The influence of TX-0 and TX-2 on PDP-1 is described in chapter 6, "The PDP-1 and Other 18-Bit Computers," pp. 123-129.
23. L. Beranek, "Roots of the Internet: A Personal History," p. 60.
24. J. McCarthy et al., "A Time-Sharing Debugging System for a Small Computer," AFIPS Proc. 1963 Spring Joint Computer Conf., Spartan Books, vol. 23, p. 56.
25. M. Greenberger ed. Computers and the World of the Future, MIT Press, 1962, p. vii. Also see, for example, "The Project MAC Interviews," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 14, no. 2, Apr.-June 1992, pp. 15-16.
26. Ibid., Greenberger ed. Computers and the World of the Future, p. 205.
27. Ibid., p. 222.
28. J.C.R. Licklider, "Man-Computer Symbiosis," IRE Trans. Human Factors in Electronics, vol. 1, no. 1, Mar. 1960, pp. 4-11.
29. Ibid., p. 7.
30. J.C.R. Licklider, "Agenda for the study of library problems of the future," memo, box 6, folder "1961," Licklider Papers at MIT Libraries.
31. L. Beranek, "Roots of the Internet: A Personal History," pp. 60-61.
32. In Licklider Papers at MIT Libraries, box 7, folder "1963."
33. J.C.R. Licklider, Libraries of the Future, MIT Press, 1965, pp. 39-45.
34. Ibid., p. 42.
35. J.C.R. Licklider, "The Truly Sage System, or Toward A Man-Machine System for Thinking," manuscript, 20 Aug. 1957, box 6, folder "1957," Licklider Papers at MIT Libraries.
36. "The Project MAC Interviews," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 14, no. 2, p. 16.
37. MIT Project Charles, "Problems of Air Defense: Final Report of Project Charles," MIT, Cambridge, Mass., 1951, 3 vols. See also, Redmond and Smith, From Whirlwind to MITRE, pp. 102-108.
38. Group Organization List of MIT Lincoln Laboratory, 1 July 1953; G. Miller, interview by C. Ishikawa Kita, 9 Oct. 2001, Princeton, N.J.; J.C.R. Licklider, OH 150, oral history interview by W. Aspray and A. Norberg, transcript, 28 Oct. 1988, in Cambridge, Mass., Charles Babbage Inst., Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, pp. 6-7.
39. See Ref. 36. Licklider interview by Aspray and Norberg, transcript, 1988, p. 10. Though he mentioned the computer as TX-2, it might be TX-0.
40. W. Clark email interview by C. Ishikawa Kita, 24 June 2000.
41. Group Organization List of MIT Lincoln Laboratory, 1 July 1953. There were several informal meetings organized by Selfridge among people who were researching the function of the human brain through digital computers. Licklider joined the meetings. (W. Clark, email interview by C. Ishikawa Kita, 24 June 2000. Preliminary interview was done on 27 Mar. 2000, Palo Alto, Calif.) I confirmed the fact with Marvin Minsky, (email interview by C. Ishikawa Kita, 27 May 2000) and O. Selfridge, (interview, 23 Dec. 2000, Cambridge, Mass.) Selfridge said that he could not recognize which meetings they were because he talked on the matter with a variety of people, including the people Clark suggested. Thus the fact that they had some relationship and talked about the "human brain and computer" can at least be counted as a historical fact.
42. The session of "Learning Machines," Proc. Western Joint Computer Conf., Inst. of Radio Engineers, 1955, pp. 85-111; O.G. Selfridge, "Pattern Recognition and Modern Computers," pp. 91-93; G.P. Dinneen, "Programming Pattern Recognition," pp. 94-100.
43. Ibid., W.A. Clark and B.G. Farley, "Generalization of Pattern Recognition in a Self-Organizing System," pp. 86-91.
44. J.C.R. Licklider, "The Truly SAGE System," cover page.
45. Ibid., p. 8. Licklider used "information center" and "thinking center" interchangeably in the paper.
46. Project Charles and MIT Lincoln Laboratory were initiated by the US Air Force. Licklider served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board, Office of the Chief of Staff, US Air Force, circa 1961.
47. "Man-Computer Symbiosis" (1960) was "supported largely by the Behavioral Science Division, Air Force Office of Scientific research, Air Research and Development Command," as indicated on the first page of the publication. Licklider, "Man-Computer Symbiosis," p. 4.
48. J.C.R. Licklider, "Truly SAGE system," p. 1.
49. Ibid., p. 2.
50. Ibid., p. 2-3.
51. Ibid., p. 3.
52. According to J. McCarthy, "Reminiscences on the History of Time-Sharing," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 14, no. 1, Jan.-Mar. 1992, pp. 19-24. For more detail at MIT, see S.L. Garfinkel, Architects of the Information Society; Thirty-Five Years of the Laboratory for Computer Science at MIT, H. Abelson, ed., MIT Press, 1999, pp. 2-9.
53. J. McCarthy could not remember whether he had a conversation with Licklider before Sept. 1957 on "time-sharing." J. McCarthy, email interview by C. Ishikawa Kita, 30 Oct. 2001.
54. R.R. Everette, C.A. Zraket, and H.D. Bennington, "SAGE—A Data Processing System for Air Defense," Proc. Eastern Joint Computer Conf., Inst. of Radio Engineers, 1957, pp. 153-154.
55. J.A.N. Lee, "Time-Sharing at MIT: Introduction," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 14, no. 1, Jan.-Mar. 1992, pp. 13-15. See also, J.A.N. Lee, "Claims to the Term "Time-Sharing," Ibid., pp. 16-17.
56. See for example, A. Rosenberg, "Time-Sharing: A Status Report; Problems and Prospects," Datamation, Feb. 1966, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 66-77.
57. J.C.R. Licklider, "Man-Computer Symbiosis: Part of the Oral Report of the 1958 NAS-ARDC Special Study, Presented on Behalf of the Committee on the Roles of Men in Future Air Force Systems, 20-21 November 1958," box 6, folder "1958," Licklider Papers at the MIT Libraries, pp. 2-3.
58. J.C.R. Licklider, "Man-Computer Symbiosis," 1960, p. 4.
59. J.C.R. Licklider, "The Truly SAGE System," p. 4.
60. About Sabre see for example, J.L. McKenney with D.C. Copeland, and R.O. Mason, Waves of Change: Business Evolution through Information Technology, Harvard Business School Press, 1995. Especially, chapter 4: "Rattling SABRES: American Airlines and the Reservation System Revolution," pp. 97-140.
61. M. Campbell-Kelly and W. Aspray, "Computers," pp. 169-176.
62. Ibid., p. 174.
63. See for example, A.L. Samuel, "Artificial Intelligence: A Frontier of Automation," The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 340, Mar. 1962, pp. 10-20.
64. Especially, the phrase "giant brain" was diffused by E.C. Berkeley, Giant Brains, or Machines that Think, John Wiley&Sons, 1949.
65. J.C.R. Licklider, "The Truly SAGE System," p. 12.
66. M. Minsky homepage, http://www.ai.mit.edu/people/minskypeople.html .
67. J. Bernstein, "Mind and Machine: Profile of Marvin Minsky," Science Observed, Basic Books, 1982, p. 29.
68. M. Minsky email interview by C. Ishikawa Kita, 28 May 2000.
69. J. Bernstein, "Mind and Machine: Profile of Marvin Minsky," p. 101. The word the machine could recognize was not "watermelon" but "butterfat" according to G. Miller, interviewed by Ishikawa Kita, 2001.
70. According to H. von Foerster ed. Cybernetics; Circular Causal and Feedback Mechanisms in Biological and Social Systems, vol. 7, Macy Foundation, New York, 1951, Licklider's talk was "The Manner in Which and Extent to Which Speech Can Be Distorted and Remain Intelligible." The best historical work on the meetings: S.J. Heims, Constructing A Social Science for Postwar America: The Cybernetics Group, 1946-1953, MIT Press, 1991.
71. M. Mitchell Waldrop, Complexity, Simon&Schuster, 1992, pp. 157-160.
72. D.O. Hebb, The Organization of Behavior, John Wiley&Sons, 1949.
73. Licklider "Man-Computer Symbiosis," 1960, p. 5.
74. C.T. Morgan et al., eds. Human Eng. Guide to Equipment Design, McGraw-Hill, 1961, p. 1.
75. J. Phinney Baxter3rd,Scientist Against Time, Little, Brown, 1946, part five: "Men and Machines," pp. 395-417.
76. W. Sinaiko ed. Selected Papers on Human Factors in the Design and Use of Control System, Dover Publications, 1961, p. vii.
77. E.J. McCormick, Human Engineering, McGraw-Hill, 1957.
78. See the section "Officers, Board, Committees, and Representatives of the American Psychological Association, 1957-1958," The American Psychologist, vol. 12, no. 11, p. 710.
79. Human Factors, vol. 1, no. 1, Sept. 1958 (it was issued in 1959).
80. "Proc. Sixty-Ninth Ann. Business Meeting," The American Psychologist, vol. 16, no. 12, p. 785.
81. J.C.R. Licklider, "Man-Computer Symbiosis: Part of the Oral Report of the 1958 NAS-ARDC Special Study," Licklider Papers at the MIT Libraries.
82. Ibid., front page.
83. Ibid., p. 2.
84. Ibid., pp. 4-7.
85. J.C.R. Licklider, "The Cerebral Frontier,"24 Apr. 1961, Licklider Papers at MIT Libraries, box 6, folder "1961," front page.
86. Inst. for Defense Analyses, "Computers in Command and Control," pp. 56-57.
87. J.C.R. Licklider, "Artificial Intelligence, Military Intelligence, and Command and Control," p. 133.
88. A. Norberg and J. O'Neill, Transforming Computer Technology, pp. 204-209.
89. Ibid., p. 14. Chapters two through five were dedicated for each of four research areas: time-sharing, computer graphics, networking, and AI.
90. See for example, P.H. Salus, Casting the Net, Addison-Wesley, 1995, pp. 6-7; P.N. Edwards, The Closed World, MIT Press, 1996, pp. 262-271; K. Hafner, and M. Lyon,Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet, Touchstone, 1996, pp. 24-40; M. Hauben, and R. Hauben,Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet, IEEE CS Press, 1997, chapter 6; T.P. Hughes,Rescuing Prometheus, Pantheon Books, 1998, pp. 258-265; J. Abbate,Inventing the Internet, MIT Press, 1999, pp. 43-44; and J. Naughton,A Brief History of the Future: The Origins of the Internet, Weidenfeld&Nicolson, 1999, pp. 65-76.
91. I. Sutherland, "Computer Graphics: Ten Unsolved Problems," Datamation, vol. 12, no. 5, May 1966, pp. 22-27.
92. A. Norberg and J. O'Neill, Transforming Computer Technology, pp. 129-130.
93. L.G. Roberts, Graphical Communication in a Time-Sharing Environment, tech. report, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, May 1965, p. 1. (This paper was presented at the 1965 IFIPS Congress, 24-29 May 1965, New York.)
94. I.E. Sutherland, "The Future of On-Line Systems," On-Line Computing Systems, E. Burgess, ed., proceedings of the symposium sponsored by the Univ. of California at Los Angeles and Informatics Inc., 2-4 Feb. 1965, American Data Processing, 1965, p. 13.
95. Macromodular Computer System project at Washington Univ. led by W. Clark from Mar. 1965, and Parallel Processor (ILLIAC IV) project at Univ. of Illinois led by D. Slotnick from Feb. 1966. See, for example, Norberg and O'Neill, Transforming Computer Technology, pp. 264-269.
96. I. Sutherland OH171, oral history interview by W. Aspray, transcript, 1 May 1989, Pittsburgh, Charles Babbage Inst., Univ. of Minnesota, p. 20.
97. A. Norberg and J. O'Neill, Transforming Computer Technology, p. 264.
98. Ibid., pp. 204-209.
99. I. Sutherland, "The Future of On-line Systems," p. 11.
100. A. Norberg and J. O'Neill, Transforming Computer Technology, p. 116.
101. See for example, A.G. Hammersmith, "Selecting a Vendor of Time-Shared Computer Services," Computers and Automation, vol. 17, no. 10, Oct. 1968, pp. 16-22; R.T. Bueschel,"Time Sharing in the Near Future," Computers and Automation, vol. 18, no. 1, Jan. 1969, pp. 28-30.
102. T.P. Hughes, Rescuing Prometheus, p. 265.
103. See for example, R.A. MacGowan, "Small Scientific Computers versus Data Communications Systems in a Large Computer Environment," Computers and Automation, vol. 13, no. 2, Feb. 1964, pp. 26-28; M. Emerson,"The 'Small' Computer versus Time-Shared Systems," Computers and Automation, vol. 14, no. 9, Sept. 1965, pp. 18-20.
104. R.W. Taylor, "Man-Computer Input-Output Techniques," IRE Trans. Human Factors in Electronics, vol. 8, vol. HFE-8, no. 1, Mar. 1967, p. 2.
105. R.W. Taylor, "Plans for an Experimental, Interactive Computer Network," paper prepared for the 2nd Workshop on National Systems of the Task Group on National Systems for Scientific and Technical Information, Front Royal, Va., circa 1968, pp. 9-10; Taylor's personal files.
106. T. Marill and L.G. Roberts, "Toward a Cooperative Network of Time-Shared Computers," AFIPS Conf. Proc. Fall Joint Computer Conf., Spartan Books, vol. 29, 1966, pp. 425-431.
107. L.G. Roberts, "The ARPANET and Computer Networks," A History of Personal Workstations, A. Goldberg, ed., ACM Press, 1988, pp. 143-144.
108. Ibid., p. 146.
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