As I sat in front of my Lenovo x250 laptop and did my homework, I highlighted additional points to support my argument about the balance of power in Europe.
Then I click on the two simplest computer shortcuts – Ctrl + C and open my document page, then I click – Ctrl + V.
That’s when it dawned on me how easy it is to just copy any work and paste it anywhere with these shortcuts.
I was a little mesmerized by these thoughts; then I quickly generated more points with an AI to support my claim and it appeared strikingly – what I would call a revolution of the digital age.
Often we casually talk about “copy-and-paste” technology as if it weren’t much, but after this revelation I call it John the Baptist of the digital age because this invention was a precursor to many innovations to come.
Speaking of being a precursor, let’s take a quick look at the history of this innovation.
How did copy and paste come about?
Before a little history talk, it is important that we know again what it is. Well, copy and paste is a feature that allows you to replicate or transfer text, images, or any other data from one place to another.
To use this feature, you typically select the content you want to copy and then use a keyboard shortcut (ctrl+c) or the right-click menu to copy it.
Then you can go to where you want to paste the content and use a different keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+V) or right click on the menu to paste it.
However, in history there is no way to discuss the history of copy and paste without talking about these two guys named Larry Tesler and Tim Mott.
Both computer scientists were working for Xerox PARC developing the Gypsy word processor when they invented copy-paste technology between 1973 and 1976.
However, the feature only became really popular with the two operating systems Apple Lisa in 1983 and Macintosh in 1984. Not only did they invent copy-paste technology, they also added another command to it – cut. This makes erasing with remanent memory easier.
This single invention made computers easier to use, and instead of typing word for word from a source, all you had to do was cut/copy and then paste the content.
The idea that this invention makes life easier by having a retentive memory (clipboard) of what you copied and pasted makes it the forerunner of artificial intelligence.
Why is copy and paste the forerunner of AI?
Although written in different programming languages, the idea of copying and pasting is theoretically pretty synonymous with what artificial intelligence seems to do.
Of numerous definitions of AI, this Sebastian Thrun, a German-American computer scientist, entrepreneur, and professor at Stanford University, seems to sum up the whole idea compared to the lofty definitions of machine learning experts.
He said: “Artificial intelligence (AI) is about creating machines that can make our lives easier and better by doing things for us that we either don’t want to do or we can’t do. It’s about creating machines that are smarter and more capable than we are, and that can help us get things done more effectively and efficiently.”
From Sebastian’s idea, it is clear that the AI hopes above all to make life easier.
The essence of the computer revolution is to solve human problems, but thanks to Blaise Pascal, life has become easier with the invention of copy and paste, and more than two decades later, various word-generated AIs have become so widespread that all the ideas, people need are just a prompt away.
In summary, the essence of cut, copy, and paste is designed to make life easier by increasing efficiency, improving accuracy, and increasing productivity.
However, all these attributes are equally found in the essence of artificial intelligence; per Impact, the Ctrl+C/X and Ctrl+V revolution becomes a precursor to the AI revolution.
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