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[ Picture, J.R. Licklider ]

J.R. Licklider

J.R. Licklider was a major contributor to the development of ARPAnet and human/computer interaction. In 1960, he published the article "Man-Computer Symbiosis". In this article he discusses computers, and how they should be used to augment humans and the human mind. One of the main goals of "Man-Computer Symbiosis" was to "bring computing machines effectively into processes of thinking that must go on in real time" (Licklider, 308). Licklider believed that computers could replace and take over the large, and un-needed amount of time man spent thinking about how problems should be solved. According to him, man and computers both possess positive characteristics, that when combined, would result in a very efficient system. His ideas were revolutionary for the time, but would later shape computer development.

In 1962 Licklider became the director of ARPA computer research. That same year he published a set of memos in "On-Line Man Computer Communication" (JCR Licklider (1950-1990) ), describing the social interactions that would be allowed by networking. In his "Galactic Network", many computers would be interconnected globally. This would allow all users to access data and software in a short amount of time (Labetti).

Although Licklider left his ARPA director's position in 1964, his "Galactic Network" vision made others, such as Robert Taylor and Larry Roberts, realize how important a network system would be. Licklider's ideas sparked the beginning of ARPAnet.

In 1968, along with Robert Taylor, Licklider published "The Computer as a Communication Device". In this they discuss the implementation of "on-line" systems/communities, and how they could make human communication more efficient. The discussion includes specific technologies required, the implications of the system, and an outlook on such systems being implemented in the near future (Licklider, 1968).