I Need This Now

IBM Software Acts as Human Memory Backup
Computerworld (07/31/08) Gaudin, Sharon

IBM researchers have developed Pensieve, software that helps people keep track of what’s happened in their lives. Pensieve uses images, sounds, and text recorded on mobile devices to help people recall names, faces, conversations, and events. The software collects and organizes pieces of information, stores them, and helps the user extract the information later.

“Today, we’re flooded with information. It’s an information overload and we’re not capable of handling it,” says IBM project leader Eran Belinsky. “This would relieve us from the anxiousness or need to try to remember everything.”

Pensieve is similar to the MyLifeBits’ project being conducted by Microsoft researcher Gordon Bell, who is also developing a way for people to remember different aspects of their lives. Bell is trying to store his life on a laptop by collecting telephone conversations, music, lectures, books he’s written and read, and photographs. Belinsky says hundreds of IBM employees are currently testing the software.