I see that the Guardian carried an article earlier this week on the Microsoft Research project: MyLifeBits. Gordon Bell, a computer pioneer, is the guinea pig who is having his every waking moment recorded for Posterity – although whether Posterity will be pleased is probably a moot point.
The article carries a sentence that seems to me to put its finger on the weak point of the project:
If he wants to recall something, he switches on and picks his way through days and months of information until he finds what he is after.
"Picking one’s way" through reams of information hardly seems to me to be the most efficient manner of information retrieval. What I think the MyLifeBits project is so far is a "write-only" data vault. Until ways can be found to retrieve information quickly from all that data, then I would classify this as an interesting, but so far a sterile, piece of research.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
This entry was posted in Computers and Internet. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to MyLifeBits

  1. Sean says:

    Although the project does allow you to browse via a timeline etc. it definitely indexes all the content etc. and allows other types of searches through the data. Take a look at the following video which is an interview with some of the people involved and includes demos of the project as well.

  2. Geoff says:

    OK, thanks for the pointer, Sean. The ultimate goal would surely be to have recall as instantaneous as possible… but I suspect that’s some way off…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.