"Cybernetics and its Development in the Soviet Union" -- a 1964 overview of Soviet advances in cybernetics drafted for the US Air Force. ("cybernetics" is basically what we could call the study of systems and feedback today, it was the "deep learning" buzzword of the 1950s and 60s)

apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext

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I've long maintained that RAND Corporation is the most fascinating of the cold war think tanks, criminally under-researched and under-reported. Going through these boxes of RAND documents only strengthens that belief

Here's a 1965 RAND report demonstrating a conversational interface with an algebraic processing system. They determine that a conversational user interface vastly improves usability in their tests.

Full PDF: rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs

I love the "Eh?" from the computer there

RAND seems to have been particularly interested in the possibility of shoving a bunch of Russian language documents into a computer and having it extract intelligence from the documents automatically. HMMMM I WONDER WHY

@darius

ah, if only they realized that in the future (i.e., now) computers imitate not real humanity but cartoon humanity, and for every misunderstood/malformed text command they will now say "Whaaaa?" like Professor Farnsworth

@darius The first computer I ever used had an OS that I forget the name of, and if you messed up your syntax it would just spit back your message with a question mark at the end. I did this with “tuv” and then drew a picture of the resulting screen (“tuv” “tuv?”) with crayons. I think I was four years old

@darius What is it about typewriting that I find so pleasing?

@darius Would RAND win your bracket bot's cold war think tank bracket?

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