[EAS]The Invisible Future

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Wed Nov 7 19:41:22 EST 2001

Subject:   The Invisible Future

An important book, and the Dertouzous legacy. --PJK

(from NewsScan Daily, 7 November 2001)

      We'd like to call special attention (and give a "must-buy" 
recommendation!) to an important new book called "The Invisible
Future: The  Seamless Integration of Technology Into Everyday Life."
Edited by our good  friend Peter J. Denning, it includes thoughtful
contributions by such major  figures as Rodney Brooks, John Seely
Brown, Vint Cerf, Michael L.  Dertouzous, Douglas Hofstadter, Alan
Kay, Ray Kurzweil, Bob Metcalfe, Bruce  Sterling, and a dozen others.
      The book is a must-read for anyone interested in information 
technology and the role it will play in the future. (Full disclosure: 
NewsScan's own John Gehl played a small role in the development of the
book.) Pick up "The Invisible Future" today at your favorite local
book  store or purchase a copy online. Here's the Amazon link:

      Born in Athens, Greece, Michael L. Dertouzous, who died this
year,  received his Ph.D. from MIT, where he was the Tibco Professor
of Computer  Science and Electrical Engineering and, since 1974,
Director of the MIT  Laboratory for Computer Science. Dertouzous led
the MIT Oxygen project,  which aims to create a new breed of
human-centered computer systems that  serve people, and he is featured
in the new book "The Invisible Computer,"  in which he wrote:
      "The time has come for a major shift in our focus: I urge my 
technologist colleagues and the people throughout the world who use
and  will use computers to go after human-centered information
systems. Making  and using human-centered systems should be our
principal driving force as  we tackle tomorrow's information
technology. We already have enough of the  technology we need to get
started along this noble quest: speech, and to a  secondary extent,
vision, will help us communicate more naturally with  machines.
Automation will make it possible for our machines to do things in  our
stead. Accessing information by its meaning, rather than by its form, 
will get us the information we want, when and where we need it. 
Collaboration will help us work with other people across space and
time.  And customization will tailor our systems to our individual
needs,  differentiating our tools from each other according to
utility, as we do  today between the jeweler's and carpenter's
hammers. In tomorrow's  human-centric systems, we will also separate
the information from the  hardware we use. And we will venture beyond
our systems to ourselves by  adopting a new set of human-centric
attitudes in our use of these systems."

See http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0071382240/newsscancom/ for
the  new book "The Invisible Future" -- edited by Peter J. Denning and
including  the Dertouzous comments excerpted above (We donate all
revenue from our  book recommendations to adult literacy action

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