Improving organic recollection with memory prosthetics
Elsweiler, David and Jones, Gareth J.F. (2010) Improving organic recollection with memory prosthetics. In: PKM2010 - Workshop on Personal Knowledge Management, 12 Sept 2010, Duisburg, Germany.
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The limitations of human memory are well documented [ERJ07]. As exposure to information continues to increase, information-based memory problems will become even more commonplace and systems will be needed to support peoples’ organic memory (OM). A potential solution, that has been a popular research focus in recent years, is to create prosthetic memory devices (PM) –digital stores containing all of an individual’s information, media content and context data [GBL+02]. The idea is to create a resource where the user can lookup forgotten information if and when the need arises.
There are obvious trade-offs between the permanence and reliability of PM against the speed of access that can be achieved with OM [KW07] and consequently, most research in this area has aimed at improving facilities to search within these stores e.g. [KJ10]. While there is obvious merit in this approach, one problem is that as search facilities improve and costs of re-finding decrease, it is possible that users will become overly reliant on PM with detrimental effects on OM, comparable to the effects of continued calculator use on mental arithmetic abilities. Our work will complement re-finding research by investigating how PM content can be used to facilitate improved organic recollection, reducing the need to re-find. In this position statement, we outline the fundamental approach and present some key open research questions to be addressed by our research.
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