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Total Recall: How the E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything
Total Recall: How the E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything
by C. Gordon Bell
Edition: Roughcut
Price: $24.05
124 used & new from $0.01

39 of 48 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Total Recall doesn't add up, February 8, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Remember when everyone at concerts held up their lighters? Now it's cell phones -- taking pictures. This is the basic problem with "Total Recall": We are far better at capturing moments than we are at preserving them. Heck, we're better at preserving them than we are at organizing them so that later we can find what we want. This is truer now that it's all-digital than it was when it was all-shoebox. Clearly, our intentions are better than our methods.

Like you, I'm being continually supplied with free software to help me find all the photos on my machine. But when the pile is big enough (and mine, like yours, certainly is), no amount of brute force searching is more useful than simple organizing. When will software be able to do that for me?

Therefore, the real proposition of "Total Recall" is brute force combined with AI. Gordon Bell says we have the technology now to save everything, so the real challenge is developing truly helpful AI. His ideas are completely dependent on this happening in the near term. Others, myself included, are far more skeptical. And without useful AI, "Total Recall" is just another impractical utopian ideal.

I'm sure Gordon Bell is a better engineer than I am, and I know he's a better entrepreneur. But as to his ability to see the future, I have my doubts. It's great to imagine an ideal, however impractical -- unless it gets in the way of practical, incremental improvements. By diverting effort and resources to his fantasy, "Total Recall" may be more roadblock than highway to tomorrow.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 26, 2012 5:21 AM PST


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