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Software Backs Up Human Memory

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the where'd-I-put-my-pda dept.

IBM 172

CWmike writes "Ever try to remember who you bumped into at the store a few days back? Well, you're not alone. And IBM researchers are working on software that just may help you better recollect all the forgotten pieces of your life. This week, the company unveiled Pensieve, software that stores images, sounds, and text on everyday mobile devices, then allows the user extract them later on, to help them recall names, faces, conversations and events. IBM's project is akin to one that Gordon Bell and other scientists at Microsoft Research have been working on for the past nine years."

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172 comments

Pensieve? (4, Interesting)

deft (253558) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428951)

Did that have a meaning before harry potter, or did they have to license that?

I mean, great name and visual from the books/movies, but a quick search only showed harry potter realted results, and dictionary.com didnt know it either.

just curious.

Re:Pensieve? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429139)

Far be it from the summary to include a useful link: http://www.haifa.ibm.com/projects/imt/pensieve/

Re:Pensieve? (3, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429259)

Dunno, but we now get to discover if fictional characters can sue IBM for patent infringement - assuming Dumbledore remembered to file.

Re:Pensieve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429301)

it means "in a state of thinking" ... do a wiki or dictionary search if you want a better/more precise definition... I'm too lazy before work

Re:Pensieve? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429397)

The adjective "pensive" has the meaning you stated.

"Pensieve," I believe, is a portmanteau of "pensive" and "sieve" or filter.

Re:Pensieve? (2, Informative)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429399)

No, "pensive" means "in a state of thinking". "Pensieve" is a fictional device for remembering things in the Harry Potter universe. The name is actually quite appropriate.

Re:Pensieve? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429537)

Yes, it's a Harry Potter term, but it's obviously a play on the word pensive.

Re:Pensieve? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429661)

Wow! I can't wait for IBM to unveil their Horcrux technology!

I RTFA... was like wtf, went to IBM now I'm meh... (1)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429901)

So, like the subject says,
I RTFA... was like wtf, went to IBM now I'm meh...

The ComputerWorld article does a poor job to
relate the key idea behind the software and the
goal that IBM is trying to attain.

So, as I RTA, I thought... so what... Gordon Bell's
project is way ahead of this concept. Just opening
a word doc on a WinMobile phone and then taking a
picture, is roughly the grasp of the CW article.

So, knowing that IBM couldn't be involved in such
a pittance of an idea, I RTMFA from IBM themselves.

Press release from the 29th,
[ http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/24750.wss [ibm.com] ]
'TURN DOWN YOUR SPEAKERS! Very rude audio beginning to the vid.'

So, after the video, I'm kinda, meh.

IBM is behind the curve, behind the game and just
behind with anything about life storage. Sad but true
MS and its minions are way ahead. And given my adoption
habits, a MS v IBM showdown in this arena will have me
turning over more of my devalued dollar to the empire
in Redmond.

-AI
_Plugged-in, just enough_

Re:Pensieve? (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429993)

"Pensive", without the e after the i, was a word before Harry Potter. It's an adjective meaning (from Wiktionary) "having the appearance of thinking" or "looking thoughtful, especially from sadness".

BAD IDEA! (4, Insightful)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428971)

The human memory works by really, really remembering things that are deemed important by you at the time. If you know you can just save everyone's name and photo to a device, it'll get marked as don't remember. And then the device gets stolen or breaks and you didn't back it up and suddenly you're an amnesiac lol.

Hah (5, Funny)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429051)

If only that were the case at the bar. This happens far, far too often. I'd love some kind of memory aid.

[talking to hot woman]
Me: "Hey. So, you're a biology nut and read Neal Stephanson in your spare time? Hey, what's your name?"
Her: "Alice, and you are?"
Me: "Dan. So, can you hold on a minute? I've got to run to the bathroom."

[thinking]
"Must remember name is Alice"
"Must remember name is Alice"
"Must remember name is Alice"
"Must remember name is Alice" ...
"Must remember name is Alice"

[comes back]
Me: "So, Emily how are you doing?"
Her: "Uhm, I'm Alice."

*crap*

Order of operations (5, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429111)

You want to take the crap before you come back from the bathroom.

Re:Hah (2, Funny)

gregbot9000 (1293772) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429341)

[talking to hot woman]
Me: "Hey. So, you're a biology nut and read Neal Stephanson in your spare time? Hey, what's your name?"
Her: "Alice, and you are?"
Me: "Greg. So, how long since you become a woman?"
Her: "Three months."
Me: "post op or pre-op?"
Seriously I mean no disrespect to women. Though I doubt any will actually read this.

Re:Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429929)

Which brings up another spelling variant... Penis Eve

Re:memory (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429057)

Nah.

I can't remember all the junk anyway, so I'm already living your worst case scenario. I basically do a paper version of this already. I'd keep my eyes out for a smooth software version. I haven't eval'ed The Feature Software.

Re:BAD IDEA! (1)

gregbot9000 (1293772) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429367)

The human memory works by really, really remembering things that are deemed important by you at the time.

so this is why I can remember the license plate number of the guy who cut me off, but not an anniversary, even though they have about the same digits.

Re:BAD IDEA! (4, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429577)

It's true.

While some people claim this is evidence that computers are making us stupid (or stupid-er), the way the brain works, if it knows something is being held somewhere else, it doesn't bother to remember it. I've looked at my fiancee's phone number thousands of times since we started dating 7 years ago, and all I remember is that it has like an 8 in it. (Uh, maybe 2 8's? And theres a 6 in there somewhere?). It kind of pissed her off, but I said, "Hey, that's what cell phones are for!" Didn't fly so well though.

The brain actually can incorporate external objects into its sense of self. In this sense, a PDA, computer, or, (shudder) Wikipedia becomes a form of external memory. And you're precisely right - losing these things (as I did with a PDA once) does make a person feel precisely like an amnesiac.

It's also why I think that people in olden times had less trouble memorizing stuff like the Illiad than we do. (Another part was that it rhymed, and could be set to music, which also greatly help -- have you ever thought about how many thousands of song lyrics are stuck in your head?)

Anyhow, I don't think it necessarily makes us stupider, as long as we're able to think and reason on our feet. As long as own brains have cached the most important information, who cares if we have to reference the internet to figure out what year the Dawes Act was signed?

(I'm most amused by the name, as it's obvious someone at IBM is a Harry Potter fan.)

Re:BAD IDEA! (1)

javaxjb (931766) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429927)

It kind of pissed her off, but I said, "Hey, that's what cell phones are for!" Didn't fly so well though.

...

It's also why I think that people in olden times had less trouble memorizing stuff like the Illiad than we do. (Another part was that it rhymed, and could be set to music, which also greatly help -- have you ever thought about how many thousands of song lyrics are stuck in your head?)

Interjections show excitement or emotion...

Numbers are easy... (3, Funny)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430647)

Look at your slashdot ID. 157947 can be written as 1 - 57 - 9 - 47. Its all downhill from there.
47 is easy if you are a Star Trek or a Hitman fan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/47_(number) [wikipedia.org]
9+1 are 10. Which is how much you need to add (as you are going downhill, or backwards) to 47 to get the SECOND PAIR of numbers.

Or you can start at 15, the first 2 digits, divide it in half like they are integers and get the 7, add 2 and get 9, add the 2's you used so far to get 4, and either subtract that 2 you added to the 9 earlier to get the final 7 or just remember that 1337 starts with 1 and ends with 7.

Yeah... I know... I've been confusing people with my number mnemonics for years.

I've looked at my fiancee's phone number thousands of times since we started dating 7 years ago, and all I remember is that it has like an 8 in it.

Or, why don't you try spelling it? [phonespell.org]

Or use some other mnemonic [mindtools.com]

Re:BAD IDEA! (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430653)

If you want clinical studies on this look up the work done by Prof. Steve Mann at the University of Toronto. He has been a "cyborg" for years now. One of the co inventors of the Wearable computer (Thad Starner was the original inventor, Steve worked with him and went a different direction with it) Steve has several system in place that will pull up info on people, bring up reminders, and gps tag memories.

Not too long ago he unplugged himself and discovered that he had created a HUGE reliance on the technology, causing a large number of problems.

BS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430881)

You post on Slashdot yet expect us to believe you have a fiance? I call BS.

Uh (3, Funny)

inKubus (199753) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429011)

What were we JUST talking about?

Re:Uh (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429277)

And if the people you were just talking to were high too they won't have any idea either... (Not verbatim I don't think but, well, there's a reference that shows my age a little bit too well.)

Where it won't be in service (1)

slydder (549704) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429019)

How much do you want to bet that when finished not one politician will own one of these. It would be toooooooo easy to be caught lying, conning and being a politician in general.

Almost, but not entirely, unlike backup (1)

Fry-kun (619632) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429029)

What?! By this time they should've built a direct brain interface, a la Johnny Mnemonic. I'll definitely need one of those if I want to live to be 1000 >_<

Re:Almost, but not entirely, unlike backup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429037)

I was going to say that the title implied a Johnny Mnemonic paradigm.

Backup for Human Memory? (4, Insightful)

Jager Dave (1238106) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429049)

This was invented awhile ago... it's called a legal pad. [wikipedia.org]

Re:legal pads (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429067)

ever noticed that legal pads are such an awkward size, and that the business world runs on 8.5x11 memos? people faxing legal pad notes sludges our printer into using 11x17 paper.

Let's talk software.

Re:legal pads (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430619)

Well, if you don't want to carry a heavy book around with you (shame on you, you should always have a book around), just buy a PDA with a cam function, or use a personal wiki. You even get the latter ones for free and even open source, so why buy or torrent commercial software to do this for you?

I object to the premise of the invention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429053)

... may help you better recollect all the forgotten pieces of your life.

But I am doing everything that I can to forget.

RD: Body Swap (2, Funny)

jaminJay (1198469) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429079)

LISTER: (upon seeing a large needle that KRYTEN just removed the air from) Kryten, what's that for?
KRYTEN: It's a mental emetic.
LISTER: A what?
KRYTEN: A mind enema -- so we can flush out your brain.
LISTER: Nobody's flush'n out my brain.
KRYTEN: We'll transfer it back afterwards.
LISTER: You are not sticking that thing in my head.

Re:RD: Body Swap (0, Offtopic)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429423)

Thank god you didn't bring out a polymorph quote:

Lister: Lemon juice? (holds up canister)
Cat: What the hell is that?
Lister: It's a syringe.
Cat: What kind of syringe?
Lister: It's for cows -- artificial insemination.

The government is working on it too.......... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429083)

They call it Homeland Security.

mammories (1)

alxkit (941262) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429101)

He's trying to store a lifetime on his laptop.

considering that he works for microsoft - he's memories are heading for a blue screen of death REAL soon. is that an electronic equivalent of alzheimer's?

Exactly what we don't need (5, Interesting)

MeditationSensation (1121241) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429113)

I feel like with the advent of Google, Wikipedia, searching my old Gmail messages... it's been easier than ever for me to not remember things. Remember how ancient people used to memorize huge poems and religious texts? Granted, a lot of this relied on mnemonics and repetitive passages, but I can't help but feel modern human memory is poor compared to the way it used to be.

Re:Exactly what we don't need (2, Interesting)

Yold (473518) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429403)

There is a hell of a lot more stuff to know. In ancient Africa there were people who recorded the oral traditions of their culture with songs. That was there job. People still memorize the Quran, front-to-back, in fact it is all that is taught in some schools. A few people had the job of memorizing considerable amounts of information, while others toiled in the fields.

We are a hell of a lot more educated than any generation before us. It's common for people to spend 16-20 years in school. You'd be middle aged about 300 years ago by the time you were entering the work force.

I think that any college educated person has the same amount of information in their brain as someone who recored a hundred hours of oral history and song.

Re:Exactly what we don't need (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430435)

I don't know that I would say any college educated person. Have you ever seen the people that go on "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" They seem to find the most... brain dead people they can find.

Re:Exactly what we don't need (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429509)

How odd is this? Earlier today (and I promise to not cheat and only include a little) my wife and I were discussing the same topic. Only it was about, "Err... Did you remember to write down my appointment so we can enter it into the computer when we get home?" (I've been doing a lot of *good* doctor's visits lately as in getting healthy again.)

She said she hadn't but it was written down. Good thing too because by the time it comes around we'll have forgotten if we didn't actually enter it in with in 48 hours.

We started talking about memory and her schooling and age are quite different than my own.

"Who's woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
I do not think he'll mind me stopping here.
Though my horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near."

I started with that one... Required reading/memorization...

With Longfellow I only got as far as:

"One if by land and two if by sea,
And I on the opposite shore shall be.
Ready to ride and spread the alarm,
Through every Middlesex, Village, and Farm."

I'm pretty sure I failed prior to that.

I was also able to remember The Raven fairly well for a few verses and some additional Poe, some grammar rules, and could still do multiplication tables to 15 via rote though, actually, I had to think for division.

As we drove across the country last I was able to point out roads I'd been on and remember odd facts about places, including dates, that had to do with the history I remembered.

She isn't an idiot and I'm not a genius. We just memorized different data and learned with different mechanisms. I am not sure what it is, maybe it is that (I'm not THAT old) I was taught by people older than I who knew little about data storage other than that of a human head, a book, or a video. As I grew up I know they didn't trust anything other than a head. She is just twenty and, for the vast majority of her formative years, has had a computer in front of her.

"Why know when you can look?"

That seems to have become the solution for today's publicly educated people.

And, so we don't get confused, I actually recite the Rifleman's Creed almost every night. I don't do so as a matter of religion or anything silly like that. I do it to ensure I can still remember the damned thing and then slump into an hour of idiocy wondering how one can possibly forget.

As a side note, I'd offer my body to the research department who had the greatest claims of being able to wire me directly to the 'net with my own brain as the OS. I'd even keep my head shaved and wear a friggen WiFi antenna out of the back of my friggen' skull. No questions asked, where do I sign the waiver?

Alright, so that last bit doesn't have much to do with your question but it has a marginal amount to do with my post. Odd that.

Re:Exactly what we don't need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429783)

You also need to remember that females view VERY different things as important than men do. For example, you are going to remember that the new Shiny Thing X3000 has 420jigabytes of holo storage, while she is going to be much more focused on memorizing faces, vocal tones, and other social data.

This is just how it is.

Re:Exactly what we don't need (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429889)

Oh I know that. Trust me... Oh wow... I absolutely KNOW that.

Let ME cite you an example.

Today is technically Friday where I live but this was Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday weather in Maine, USA. You can look it up.

She loves this old 1988 Honda Accord. Me too. We've actually hit a 36 MPG range with it but that was Kansas and a story for another time. My truck which is still here in Maine and "owned" by my ex-wife (though I'm pretty sure that loan is in my name) gets about 17 MPG on a good day. And so I am forced to love it too. Honestly? I want to burn it to the ground but it just went an additional 25k miles without a problem.

These days? It won't start. Oh it will. It just takes three minutes.

We can afford to get it fixed regardless of the problem and if she loves it that much the matter of affording it is even less. At this poing we can't afford to not get it fixed because, well, she likes it.

We have "merry" discussions (term used lightly) over the car's gender and the general state of it and the importance of actually maintaining it.

I had a wife, for a long time even, with two kids. Women are fricken odd if you are a guy and always right if you're a female or a guy wanting to get laid. Those last few words, I'm sure, are the reality.

I don't carry money nor a debit card with me. I give them to her. She wins.

So help me God if she buys a piece of technology without me then I'll go off the deep end.

So help her God if I don't eat what I bought while shopping this week she'll cut my nutsack off.

Err... Yeah... It is a lot like that. Only no matter what I can't carry the money and a vocalization (no matter how positive) while shopping is wrong. Food shopping is actually worse than shopping for clothing.

Side note: If we go clothing shopping I head right for the PLUS sizes and yell out to her that we can get two and stich 'em together. She's actually got a huge punch of a lady that small but I get way too much amusement out of it. Try it sometime if your arm can handle it. She's actually a tiny little critter but look out for the quiet ones.

Re:Exactly what we don't need (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429521)

get off my lawn!

Freeing Up Brain Memory? (1)

DustoneGT (969310) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429645)

As long as nobody comes and forcefully installs the electronic devices into my body and connects me against my will to a network, I'm cool with it.

Computing devices and the human brain work in very different ways when it comes to storing and recalling information.

Perhaps we are simply offloading the tasks that are better suited to electronics and freeing up more of our consciousness for things it would be better at.

More spying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429159)

Just sounds like another way to Track and spy on people.. what ever happened to privacy? I wouldn't doubt it if there was a back door to listen in and spy on your "memories"

I mean im sure it would be of a use and could be handy at some points, but technology is full of trade offs.

Re:More spying? (2, Interesting)

naglep (709515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429267)

I wonder if they will be offering ads and related links we might find interesting aka Google MemoryAds??

No thanks (5, Funny)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429169)

I'll stick to my system of polaroids and tattoos

Software Backs Up Human Memory (3, Funny)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430287)

CWmike [mailto] writes "Ever try to remember who you bumped into at the store a few days back? Well, you're not alone. And IBM researchers are working on software that just may help you better recollect all the forgotten pieces of your life [computerworld.com] . This week, the company unveiled Pensieve, software that stores images, sounds, and text on everyday mobile devices, then allows the user extract them later on, to help them recall names, faces, conversations and events. IBM's project is akin to one that Gordon Bell and other scientists at Microsoft Research have been working on for the past nine years [computerworld.com] ."

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429199)

Pensive like in harry potter!

Old invention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429225)

Notebook and pencil

what would be more useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429231)

I would really like it to help me remember words.

software agents (4, Interesting)

VoidEngineer (633446) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429237)

Reminds me of the software agents that Manfred Macx uses in the book accelerando [accelerando.org] . Excellent read, by the way, if you haven't already.

Re:software agents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24431417)

Not to mention all the comments about what happens if you lose access to your devices are completely superfluous given Manny's eventual predicament (which describes it so much more amusingly than they could aspire to).

Wouldn't it just be easier to tell the truth.. (2, Funny)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429329)

And call it "A cure for marijuana".

Re:Wouldn't it just be easier to tell the truth.. (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429495)

And call it "A cure for marijuana".

Yeah, as if you're going to even bother entering stuff into this thing once you're high.
"Note- must buy more chips"

What if you don't remember... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429335)

...to turn it on?

can be usefull (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429343)

I don't understand why some of you seem so negative about this. Yes it has the potential to make the mind "Lazy" but it also has the potential to have you remember so much more than you were able to before. I'm sure that the people who are important to you wil always be in your head but "bob, from accounting, his daughter's pet dog's name" can safely reside on some server somewhere as far as I am concerned.
Why would ever need to remember that kind of information? Well I dunno but it's just an example.

Fantastic Misleeding Headline... (1)

chaney (526944) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429353)

...Tricks me into reading something I could honestly give 2 shits about... thanks. Now back to porn.

Re:Fantastic Misleeding Headline... (1)

doti (966971) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430571)

I don't know why this is downmodded.

The thing has nothing to do with "human memory". What it does is to backup gadgets' memory.

If can help remember ... (2, Funny)

houghi (78078) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429441)

... can it also help forget, because I have seen two girls and a cup and things that have been seen can not be unseen (for now).

Sounds like something I did (5, Funny)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429449)

I worked on a very similar project but now I can't remember what it's called.

RTFA (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429543)

I just got something: It's "Read The Featured Article". I thought It was somthing else... Someone should really write these things out occasionally. My opinion of slashdotters everywhere has risen slightly. Consequently, opinions of me may lower... But I don't care what the world thinks of mw. FTW!

Re:RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429715)

Fuck the what?

Re:RTFA (1)

TriggerFin (1122807) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430417)

No, "walrus". Or was that "woman"? I can never keep those straight....

"Seriously," though, "F" should always be taken to mean some form of the word "forget."

Talk about devoid of detail (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429545)

Recording everything that happens to you is easy, that techs been around for ages now. What I'm interested in, and what was only given glancing mention, is how it's actually searched through and retrieved. Most people get annoyed with me if I take two minutes to search through my email for something, and that's just a plain text search. I can't even imagine the problems of trying to search for "That guy...who had a hat...and who said...stuff. What was his name?"

Just a database? (1)

acadermic (569963) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430313)

Am I missing something here? It seems that the projects are essentially databases for media. GPS information is attached to everything, so your can cross reference by location. Microsoft's project has hardware associated with it, but I cannot believe that this would be popular outside of the lifestreaming set.

In 2003, Bell even began wearing a SenseCam, a digital camera designed to automatically take pictures without any user interaction. Created by scientists in Microsoft Research's laboratory in Cambridge, England, the camera hangs around Bell's neck and snaps pictures with a fish-eye lens every 30 seconds or whenever it senses someone approaching.

What would really be useful (1)

iisan7 (914423) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429555)

Now if BMI could only come up with a system to remember acronyms... In all seriousness, this seems to be the new paradigm. I admit that a camera phone and evernote have turned me into a compulsive forgetter. I agree with posters above that there is simply more to remember than ever before, but I also agree that we don't use memory as much... it is considered bad education to use rote memorization; we value creativity above skill. Interesting books on the subject -- 'The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci' and 'The Mnemonist'.

And how much are they paying J.K. Rowling? (3, Informative)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429583)

The "pensieve" is a stone bowl that the user can put their memories in for viewing later, and was used to reveal some important plot points.

Re:And how much are they paying J.K. Rowling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430575)

Snape kills... uhh... damn, it was that guy...

brb, pensieve

Well, memory isn't really a problem (1)

melted (227442) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429615)

Recall is. All of us have vast, insane amounts of memory, but we can't always recall the things that are stored there. And then there are cases when you don't remember something and then it all comes to you in vivid, minute detail.

Re:Well, memory isn't really a problem (2, Interesting)

Kaeles (971982) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429821)

I'm not so sure about that, in the research I've done in psychology, most of the evidence points to forgetting at LEAST 50% of what you've seen/studied in a day unless you repeat it several times. This is why its so important to write, speak, and look at things when you are studying. It also helps to visualize putting things in "rooms" in your "brain house". That way the memories are organized and made to seem more important. The more important something seems, the more likely you will remember it.

streav (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24429961)

IBM copied from Microsoft. Microsoft copied from Streav. http://streav.sourceforge.net/
Just a matter of time before one of them patents the idea and the startup which thought of the idea is doomed.

My life is gone (when the hdd died) (1)

chunyan (315615) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429963)

Kinda of an interesting idea to have our phone, PC, wearable gadgets to constantly monitor and record every moments of our life without us knowing it.

Sounds like the movie The Truman Show.

Duh...that's my dad sex life I'm looking at. :D

Microsoft were looking into Alzheimer's... (1)

rjk94 (1240212) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429971)

Last December the Daily Mail had a story that Microsoft were creating an imaging camera that digitally forces an image onto the mind every 30 seconds [dailymail.co.uk] .

It was said to be a possible cure for Alzheimer's, but this IBM Pensieve is even cleverer than Microsoft's camera, and if it can artificially force itself onto someone's mind then it and that drug that was on here on Wednesday [slashdot.org] might be able to stop Alzheimer's altogether.

hmmm. (2, Insightful)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#24429979)

I cannot help thinking that controlling governments and lawyers would love us all to have something like this.

"according to you pensieve black box you were at the location of the crime at the time of the crime!"
"oh futz!"

No information at all (1)

wye43 (769759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430057)

After reading TFA carefully, I realized that they didn't said anything. AT ALL. A dumb photo camera or sound recorder performs exactly as their described "genius" invention. It doesn't need to have anything to do with the brain. Harry Potter references, are you for real??
At first, I thought its April fools, but wait ... it's not 1 April. So my question is: WTF ?

Is it just me?

Re:No information at all (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430349)

Had you watched the video, you would have realised that the clever thing is the storage and retrieval systems not the method of collection.

It is very good at analysing images, video and audio and extracting the semantics and the connections between data.

It is also very good at searching the collected data.

The next step would be to collect the data automagically and store the data on a disk carried about your person.

Amazing! Innovative! New! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430323)

They can't call it "Pensieve", software as innovative as this requires an equally innovative name... "Scrapbook" perhaps?

I'm scared whether MS will DRM my memories. (1)

louzer (1006689) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430419)

You can remember it only 3 times because you are using the demo version.

Media != Memories (1)

acadermic (569963) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430473)

These systems store media, not human memories. This may be an improvement on the traditional album/scrapbook, but media is a far second when compared with real memories of experiences, ideas, and insights.

You were not alone (1)

Sapphon (214287) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430559)

Ever try to remember who you bumped into at the store a few days back? Well, you're not alone.

Well, obviously, otherwhise there wouldn't have been anyone to bump into.

reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430749)

I'm remembering all (since I was born) with Facebook!

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