Decision Support Systems Wisdom

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Engelbart, 1962

In 1962, Doug Engelbart provided a hypothetical description of a computer-based augmentation system. A "friendly fellow" named Joe described its capabilities. Joe said ...

"Let me mention another bonus feature that wasn't easily foreseen. We have experimented with having several people work together from working stations that can provide inter-communication via their computer or computers. That is, each person is equipped as I am here, with free access to the common working structures. There proves to be a really phenomenal boost in group effectiveness over any previous form of cooperation we have experienced. They can all work on the same symbol structure, wherever they might wish. If any two want to work simultaneously on the same material, they simply duplicate and each starts reshaping his version--and later it is easy to merge their contributions. The whole team can join forces at a moment's notice to 'pull together' on some stubborn little problem, or to make a group decision. Most points of contention are resolved quite naturally, over a period of time, as the developing structure of argument bears out one, or the other, or neither stand."

Engelbart, D. C., "Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework", AFOSR-3233 Summary Report, October 1962 at URL

appeared in DSS News, March 25, 2001, Vol. 2, No. 7