By Bad Seed
Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell visit Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss their book "Total Recall: How the E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything." This event took place on September 25, 2009, as part of the Authors@Google series.
In 1998, pioneering computer scientist Gordon Bell and his colleague Jim Gemmell at Microsoft began an experiment called MyLifeBits— an attempt to record Bells entire life digitally. Foreseeing the coming explosion of digital memory capacity and ubiquitous sensing devices, Bell set out to create a database of everything he did, saw, read, ate, felt—his whole life experience. He fused together a digital version of his past (scanned photos, letters, memorabilia, and so on) with a cuttingedge recording of his present, using sensor-enhanced cameras, GPS, and the latest in software technology. Fascination with this amazing undertaking has been ongoing, with features running everywhere from CBS to Scientific American, The New Yorker to Fast Company. But until now the full implications of what is really possible have not been revealed. Bells experiment is only a foretaste of an incredible new era in which memory will go far beyond the human senses and everything can be remembered. You will have total recall.
Total Recall outlines the transformation coming that will affect virtually every aspect of our lives. It describes the near-future with heart monitors woven into clothing, wearable cameras that take photographs constantly and monitors that know what you have eaten. It details the steps anyone can take now to lifelog and create a private, personal database. Welcome to life in the new era of total recall.
Gordon Bell is a computer engineer and manager. An early employee of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Bell designed several of their PDP machines and later became Vice President of Engineering in 1972, overseeing the development of the VAX. Bell's later career includes entrepreneur, investor, founding Assistant Director of NSF's Computing and Information Science and Engineering Directorate, and researcher at Microsoft Research, 1995-present. He co-founded The Computer Museum in Boston, and was a founding board member of its successor, Mountain View's own Computer History Museum.
Jim Gemmell is a senior researcher at Microsoft Research, currently working on the next generation of search. Previously, Jim's research focus was MyLifeBits, part of the CARPE research community, whose first and second workshops he was proud to chair. Jim has also done research on the topics of personal media management/enhancement, telepresence, and reliable multicast. His research has led to features in Windows XP, Windows Server 2008, and Bing.com.