Computer Whiz Records Life as 'E-Memory'

Microsoft researcher saves audio, video experiences on hard drive
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2009 4:26 PM CDT
A computer user is silhouetted with a row of computer monitors at an Internet cafe in Shenyang, northern China's Liaoning province in this Jan. 23, 2008 file photo.   (AP Photo/File)
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(Newser) – Philip K. Dick, eat your heart out. Microsoft researcher Gordon Bell is recording his entire life with video and audio equipment and storing it on a hard drive to keep it safe, CNN reports. The 350 gigabytes of data—which include scans of receipts and PDFs of every Web site he visits—is better than natural memory, he says, because it never forgets. And he never deletes anything—even moments he'd rather forget.

Bell denies that the experiment is hurting his own memory: "To me, I feel a lot freer," he says. "I generally remember" that the computer is "remembering something for me so I can find it." But he believes that films like Total Recall—based on Dick's story about false memory implants—are the wave of the future: "I think it's inevitable because so much content is being created ... I will love that day when the world is just bits."