Sunday, August 3, 2008

Can we find our minds?

This article from ComputerWorld (July 31) discusses software being separately developed by IBM and Microsoft that is designed to help people remember the often elusive details of our lives.

I think the article describes pretty well how it's designed to work and it raises lots of hope for me, and lots of people like me I guess, because I frequently can't remember where I parked the car or where I read or heard about something, or someone's name.

Though clearly in a primitive state, this line of development gives us a clear glimpse of at least some aspects of the not-to-distant future -- and also cements further the role that those tiny computers we now call cellphones will continue to play in our lives. More surely than ever, these devices will be our windows on the world, and now apparently, the tools that will enable us to find the minds we have lost.

Coupled with the announcement on the same day of a potential breakthrough treatment for Alzheimer's disease (see articles here and here), it was certainly a banner moment in the development of human mental capacity. If we can somehow make similar progress in controlling our tendencies toward ethnocentrism, jingoism, religious intolerance, greed, hate, and violence then the future looks bright indeed.

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