All your life in one computer?

by Dan


Microsoft has a project called “MyLifeBits” which aims to create a system that will capture every single memory of your life and store it in digital form so that you will be able to bring those memories alive anytime you want.

The project has been running for many years already, and Microsoft’s engineer Gordon Bell has been using the system for the past five years. Quoting Microsoft’s site “Gordon Bell has captured a lifetime’s worth of articles, books, cards, CDs, letters, memos, papers, photos, pictures, presentations, home movies, videotaped lectures, and voice recordings and stored them digitally. He is now paperless, and is beginning to capture phone calls, IM transcripts, television, and radio.”

According to an article over the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore there is a similar project being developed independently by an Indian researcher at the MIT Media Lab. Sunil Vemuri is trying to leverage technology to help people with memory problems. Vemuri’s project was designed around a single device, similar to a PDA, that would capture your conversations and transfer it back to a computer where the information would be stored under textual format.

Microsoft admits that the idea to create MyLifeBits was derived from Dr. Vannevar Bush’s concept called “memex”. “Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and to coin one at random, “memex” will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory.”

Il Sole 24 Ore

One review or comment

Brett Says: December 17, 2006 at 10:47 am

So life imitates art… I mean Scifi. Does Mr. Bell read sci fi? This idea is directly from the pages. However, I can’t recall the author – Heinlien? I recall it was a short story. Or was it Bradbury? Aisimov? sorry, its probably been 20 years since I read the story…

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