home · mobile · calendar · cats · 2001-2002 · 

CATS - Schwarz

A Machine for the Mind: Developing Ideas for Yourself and with Others
Alon Schwarz
CEO and Founder, BrowseUp, Inc.

For many years, man has built languages and later machines to help him advance. Among these inventions that have changed human thinking, both individually and collectively, are the printing press, the typewriter, and later, the word processor. These all brought man closer to the medium of written communication. The fact that man could express his complex thoughts on a permanent record changed "thinking" itself, by enabling exchange of ideas, over huge geographical boundaries and more importantly over different time periods.

In the last 50 years, some of the world's greatest scientists have been developing machines intended to augment mankind's ability to think. Vannevar Bush proposed a "MEMory EXtension machine," or "Memex," over 50 years ago. While the "Memex" was never built, Bush never stopped developing his idea for a "Mind's Machine".

In the past 50 years, other pioneers, such as Douglas Engelbart, Theodor (Ted) Nelson, and Tim Berners-Lee, have followed in Bush's footsteps. BrowseUp tries to fit in as part of the evolution of the "Memex". The WWW was a first step; BrowseUp builds on it, trying to improve mankind's ability to think, both individually and collectively. BrowseUp uses the WWW as a delivery infrastructure for a "World Wide Open Hypermedia System" or a "Memex". (Recommended reading: "As We May Think" by Vannevar Bush.)

At its core BrowseUp's oLink technology enables users to create virtual links from existing online documents. Although these virtual links are inline links, they really reside on a link server (and not within the page), and the original document is not changed. These virtual links can point from both pictures and text within the page, to associatively connected information like other URL's, the users local files (which are automatically published), and to new pages written on the fly by the user. The virtual links can be viewed by other users in the company, while they access the URL from where the links point.

Today, BrowseUp maintains headquarters in New York City and a research and development center in Israel. Incorporated in Delaware, BrowseUp is funded by American, Israeli and Japanese Venture Capital Funds, as well as prominent angel investors.

Refreshments will be served immediately following the presentation.

Department of Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
May 5, 2012 (14:20)