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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index L > J.C.R. Licklider Quotes

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J.C.R. Licklider
(11 Mar 1915 - 26 Jun 1990)

American computer scientist who created the idea of a universal network which his successors developed into the internet.


Science Quotes by J.C.R. Licklider (6 quotes)

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A multidisciplinary study group ... estimated that it would be 1980 before developments in artificial intelligence make it possible for machines alone to do much thinking or problem solving of military significance. That would leave, say, five years to develop man-computer symbiosis and 15 years to use it. The 15 may be 10 or 500, but those years should be intellectually the most creative and exciting in the history of mankind.
— J.C.R. Licklider
From article 'Man-Computer Symbiosis', in IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics (Mar 1960), Vol. HFE-1, 4-11.
Science quotes on:  |  Artificial Intelligence (8)  |  Computer (86)  |  Creative (46)  |  Development (231)  |  Exciting (14)  |  History (314)  |  Intellectual (85)  |  Mankind (217)  |  Military (24)  |  Problem (382)  |  Significance (64)  |  Solving (6)  |  Symbiosis (2)  |  Thinking (223)

About 85 per cent of my “thinking” time was spent getting into a position to think, to make a decision, to learn something I needed to know. Much more time went into finding or obtaining information than into digesting it. Hours went into the plotting of graphs... When the graphs were finished, the relations were obvious at once, but the plotting had to be done in order to make them so.
— J.C.R. Licklider
From article 'Man-Computer Symbiosis', in IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics (Mar 1960), Vol. HFE-1, 4-11.
Science quotes on:  |  Decision (60)  |  Digesting (2)  |  Finding (30)  |  Graph (5)  |  Information (106)  |  Know (394)  |  Learn (193)  |  Need (226)  |  Obtaining (5)  |  Obvious (59)  |  Relation (98)  |  Thinking (223)  |  Time (491)

It seems reasonable to envision, for a time 10 or 15 years hence, a “thinking center” that will incorporate the functions of present-day libraries together with anticipated advances in information storage and retrieval and ... a network of such centers, connected to one another by wide-band communication lines and to individual users by leased-wire services.
— J.C.R. Licklider
From article 'Man-Computer Symbiosis', in IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics (Mar 1960), Vol. HFE-1, 4-11.
Science quotes on:  |  Center (31)  |  Communication (62)  |  Connected (8)  |  Envision (2)  |  Function (100)  |  Incorporate (3)  |  Individual (185)  |  Information (106)  |  Library (38)  |  Network (11)  |  Present Day (2)  |  Service (56)  |  Storage (3)  |  Thinking (223)  |  User (4)  |  Wire (18)

Men are noisy, narrow-band devices, but their nervous systems have very many parallel and simultaneously active channels. Relative to men, computing machines are very fast and very accurate, but they are constrained to perform only one or a few elementary operations at a time. Men are flexible, capable of “programming themselves contingently” on the basis of newly received information. Computing machines are single-minded, constrained by their “pre-programming.”
— J.C.R. Licklider
From article 'Man-Computer Symbiosis', in IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics (Mar 1960), Vol. HFE-1, 4-11.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (21)  |  Active (18)  |  Capable (31)  |  Channel (19)  |  Computer (86)  |  Constrain (7)  |  Contingent (8)  |  Device (25)  |  Elementary (32)  |  Fast (35)  |  Flexible (4)  |  Information (106)  |  Man (348)  |  Nervous System (12)  |  Noise (27)  |  Operation (96)  |  Parallel (16)  |  Perform (28)  |  Program (34)  |  Relative (26)  |  Simultaneous (13)

My “"thinking”" time was devoted mainly to activities that were essentially clerical or mechanical: searching, calculating, plotting, transforming, determining the logical or dynamic consequences of a set of assumptions or hypotheses, preparing the way for a decision or an insight. Moreover ... the operations that fill most of the time allegedly devoted to technical thinking are operations that can be performed more effectively by machines than by men.
— J.C.R. Licklider
From article 'Man-Computer Symbiosis', in IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics (Mar 1960), Vol. HFE-1, 4-11.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (101)  |  Assumption (50)  |  Calculate (16)  |  Clerical (2)  |  Consequence (81)  |  Decision (60)  |  Determining (2)  |  Dynamic (12)  |  Hypothesis (231)  |  Insight (60)  |  Logical (22)  |  Machine (136)  |  Mechanical (32)  |  Operation (96)  |  Perform (28)  |  Plotting (2)  |  Preparing (2)  |  Searching (5)  |  Technical (29)  |  Thinking (223)  |  Transforming (4)

We need to substitute for the book a device that will make it easy to transmit information without transporting material.
— J.C.R. Licklider
In Libraries of the Future (1965), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (188)  |  Device (25)  |  Easy (69)  |  Information (106)  |  Material (129)  |  Need (226)  |  Substitute (23)  |  Transmit (8)  |  Transport (10)


See also:
  • 11 Mar - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Licklider's birth.
  • The Dream Machine: J. C. R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal, by Waldrop M. Mitchell. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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