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Past Visions of Hypertext and Their Influence on Us Today.

In July 1945, Vannevar Bush published the seminal paper ``As We May Think'' in Atlantic Monthly. In this paper Bush proposed Memex, a device where information and records could be stored and linked together through `trails' and `associations' rather than `artificial' indexing mechanisms. This idea of hypertext (a term coined later by Ted Nelson), has inspired many devices that seek to link information and knowledge, such as Engelbart's Online System (NLS), Nelson and Van Dam's Hypertext Editing System (HES) and Berners-Lee's World Wide Web (WWW). Indeed, notions of linking data have seeped into the realms of Science Fiction, with William Gibson's novel Neuromancer popularising the term `Cyberspace' and describing it as a ``graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system''. In this panel session to mark the 65th anniversary of ``As We May Think'' , we shall explore how these previous hypertext systems envisaged collecting, storing, associating, and presenting knowledge to the user. We shall also examine how these systems have influenced our thinking today and what the future of knowledge capture and information association will involve.

Moderator: Darren Lunn (Researcher, The University of Manchester)

Panelists: Mark Bernstein (Chief Scientist, Eastgate Systems, Inc.)
Cathy Marshall (Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research)
James M. Nyce (Associate Professor, Ball State University)
Frank Tompa (Professor, The University of Waterloo)

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