In the TV show “Black Mirror,” there is an episode imagining a world where humans record every single thing that happens to them — sometimes to detrimental effect. Apple’s Tom Gruber has a vision for a similar future, albeit one where these computer memory aids are helpful rather than harmful.
Gruber — the cofounder of Siri — posited his vision of computers logging everything that happens in our lives, allowing us to remember every person we ever met, along with how their favourite sports, family members, and correct pronunciation of their names, while speaking at the TED 2017 conference in Vancouver, Canada.
“I believe AI will make personal memory enhancement a reality. I think it’s inevitable,” he said onstage, adding that he doesn’t know when or how it will happen.
Gruber stressed, however, that the data collected would have to be secure. “We get to choose what is and is not recalled and retained,” he said.
Gruber imagines that this kind of technology will not only be useful for satisfying data geeks who want to optimise their health and happiness, but it could also assist those who suffer from diseases like dementia and schizophrenia. “It’s the difference between a life of isolation and one of dignity and connection,” he said.
During his talk, Gruber also touched on other positive applications for AI, including cancer detection and, of course, the technology’s usefulness in creating personal technology assistants.