In 1962 Doug wrote the paper which would come to frame the vision and orient the future work. It was titled "AUGMENTING HUMAN INTELLECT : A Conceptual Framework.
It simply and clearly states the goal of his work, to augment human intellect: By "augmenting human intellect" we mean increasing the capability of a man to approach a complex problem situation, to gain comprehension to suit his particular needs, and to derive solutions to problems.
His work was to be developing means to augment the human intellect. These "means" can include many things--all of which appear to be but extensions of means developed and used in the past to help man apply his native sensory, mental, and motor capabilities-- and we consider the whole system of a human and his augmentation means as a proper field of search for practical possibilities. It is a very important system to our society, and like most systems its performance can best be improved by considering the whole as a set of interacting components rather than by considering the components in isolation.
So the job then become a matter of finding the factors that limit the effectiveness of the individual's basic information-handling capabilities in meeting the various needs of society for problem solving in its most general sense; and to develop new techniques, procedures, and systems that will better match these basic capabilities to the needs' problems, and progress of society.
This is important, simply because man's problem-solving capability represents possibly the most important resource possessed by a society. The other contenders for first importance are all critically dependent for their development and use upon this resource.
This is where he stands. He wrote his mission statement in 1962. It's a great paper. Only very little of the specific technology references are dated.