The book Total Recall (paperback title Your Life, Uploaded) is the culmination of our thoughts regarding MyLifebits and the larger CARPE research agenda.
There are two parts to MyLifeBits: an experiment in lifetime storage, and a software research effort.
The experiment: Gordon Bell has captured a lifetime’s worth of articles, books, cards, CDs, letters, memos, papers, photos, pictures, presentations, home movies, videotaped lectures, and voice recordings and stored them digitally. He is now paperless, and is beginning to capture phone calls, IM transcripts, television, and radio.
The software research: Jim Gemmell and Roger Lueder have developed the MyLifeBits software, which leverages SQL server to support: hyperlinks, annotations, reports, saved queries, pivoting, clustering, and fast search. MyLifeBits is designed to make annotation easy, including gang annotation on right click, voice annotation, and web browser integration. It includes tools to record web pages, IM transcripts, radio and television. The MyLifeBits screensaver supports annotation and rating. We are beginning to explore features such as document similarity ranking and faceted classification. We have collaborated with the WWMX team to get a mapped UI, and with the SenseCam team to digest and display SenseCam output.
Support for academic research: Our team led the 2005 Digital Memories (Memex) RFP, which supported 14 universities and led to an impressive list of publications. We also established the ACM CARPE Workshops in 2004, 2005, and 2006
- Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmell, A Digital Life, Scientific American, March 2007. German version in Spektrum der Wissenschaft (April, 2007)
- Jim Gemmell, Gordon Bell and Roger Lueder, MyLifeBits: a personal database for everything, Communications of the ACM, vol. 49, Issue 1 (Jan 2006), pp. 88.95. PDF (0.5 MB)
- Gemmell, Jim, Aris, Aleks, and Lueder, Roger, Telling Stories With MyLifeBits, ICME 2005, July 6-9 2005
- Gemmell, Jim, Williams, Lyndsay, Wood, Ken, Bell, Gordon and Lueder, Roger, Passive Capture and Ensuing Issues for a Personal Lifetime Store, Proceedings of The First ACM Workshop on Continuous Archival and Retrieval of Personal Experiences (CARPE ’04), Oct. 15, 2004, New York, NY, USA, pp. 48-55.
- Gemmell, Jim, Lueder, Roger, and Bell, Gordon, The MyLifeBits Lifetime Store, ACM SIGMM 2003 Workshop on Experiential Telepresence (ETP 2003), November 7, 2003, Berkeley, CA.
- MyLifeBits: Fulfilling the Memex Vision, Gemmell, Jim, Bell, Gordon, Lueder, Roger, Drucker, Steven, and Wong, Curtis, ACM Multimedia ’02, December 1-6, 2002, Juan-les-Pins, France, pp. 235-238.
- Jim Gemmell’s MyLifeBits talk given at a number of universities: Feb 2005 version PowerPoint (10 MB)
- Gordon Bell’s talk, given at BayCHI, on 11 February 2003 at PARC, Palo Alto (4.8 MByte PPT) and U.S. Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey on 6 February 2003.
- MyLifeBits: A lifetime personal store beginning at 1:22. Streaming webcast of Bell by Austrian Telecom at Austria’s European (Technology) Forum Alpbach, Plenary Session speaker, “The World of Tomorrow”, held Thursday 26 August 2004. See also the PowerPoint presentation (approx. 10 MB).
MyLifeBits In The News
- Don’t forget to back up your brain, Fox News, 11/14/2007
- Remember This?, The New Yorker, May 28, 2007
- Your Whole Life is Going to Bits, Sydney Morning Herald 4/14/2007
- Researcher Records His Life On Computer, CBS Evening News 4/9/2007
- Lifeblogging: Is a virtual brain good for the real one? Ars technica, 2/7/2007
- Digital Diary, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/28/2007
- The Persistence of Memory, NPR Radio “On the Media” show, 1/5/2007
- A Head For Detail, Fast Company, Nov 2006.
- Digital age may bring total recall in future, CNN 10/16/2006.
- El hombre que guarda todos los recuerdos de su vida en bits, La Crónica de Hoy (Mexico), 7/16/2006.
- Life Bytes, NPR Radio “Living on Earth” show, 1/20/2006
- Total Recall, IEEE Spectrum, 11/1/2005
- Wouldn’t It Be Nice The Wall Street Journal 5/23/2005
- How To Be A Pack Rat, Forbes.com 4/29/2005 – see also blog entry by Thomas Hawk at eHomeUpgrade
- Computer sage cuts paperwork, converts his life to digital format The Seattle Time 4/9/2005
- Channel 9 video interviews 8/21/2004 Introduction with Gordon Bell and Jim Gemmel, Jim Gemmell and the SenseCam, and Roger Leuder: Developing MyLifeBits
- Life in byte-sized pieces The Age, 7/18/2004
- This is Your Life San Jose Mercury News 3/6/2004
- I Know It’s Here Somewhere New York Times 2/19/2004
- Offloading Your Memories New York Times Magazine Year in Ideas issue 12/14/2003
- Memories as Heirlooms Logged Into a Database The New York Times 3/20/2003
- Microsoft Fair Forecasts Future AP 2/27/2003 (This story ran on many newspapers and news sites, including USA Today, The Globe and Mail, The San Jose Mercury News, and ABC News)
- Saving your life in bits and bytes ZDNet 1/6/2003
- Saving Your Bits for Posterity Wired 12/6/2002
- Microsoft solves “giant shoebox problem” Geek.com 11/22/2002
- Would you put your life in Microsoft’s hands? ZDNet News 11/21/2002
- Microsoft plans online life archive BBC News 11/20/2002
- Software aims to put your life on a disk New Scientist 11/20/2002