What was I doing on the 14th September 1983?

We are fast moving to a time when gone will be the days when we have just our memory and a few old photographs to reminisce about the past and our personal experiences. Instead, we may literally be able to watch everything that has happened to us throughout our lives.

This week we had images of the Premiership footballer, Steven N’Zonzi, casually telling a cyclist he had just allegedly injured through his careless driving and who had requested N’Zonzi’s insurance details, that the cyclist would never be able to trace him because his car had foreign number plates. Whilst the cyclist didn’t have a camera mounted on his safety helmet, which has become a common feature amongst cyclists, several passers-by took pictures and subsequently via a Twitter campaign N’Zonzi was identified. N’Zonzi’s attitude was perhaps surprising given the likelihood that with the plethora of image recording devices around these days he clearly would be identified, but then some Premiership footballers may be seen to exist in their own carefree arrogant bubble.

Many cyclists do as I say now have mounted cameras on their helmets to record their travel experiences, and of course wearable camera technology is developing fast, with Google Glass being a prime example of this. It cannot now be in the realms of just science fiction that recording technology is likely to become available as devices implanted into our bodies in some way, therefore actually providing us with the potential to automatically record our complete daily experiences.

The Science Daily website yesterday reported on interesting research being carried out by Kristen Grauman and her team at the University of Texas.
With an explosion in the amount of what is termed ‘egocentric video’ coming from wearable recording devices, Grauman and her team are looking at ways to automatically summarise the lengthy footage that has been filmed.

kristen grauman (Kristen Grauman)

They have developed a machine learning teachnique that analyses all the footage and is then able to identify key elements in order to what Grauman says conveys the essence of the story. Such video summation it is believed will help for example military commanders when reviewing footage from soldiers head cameras, and investigators who are looking through vast quantities of footage such as the mobile phone footage at disasters like the Boston marathon bombings. It also could be used to help elderly people suffering from memory loss. Whilst I am unable to go back and see what happened to me on this day 30 years ago today, 30 years in the future people will be able to review a manageable summary of what took place many years before. Our past experiences whilst being long gone in terms of actual time, will potentially be much more fresh and much more part of our existing reality.

I wonder if for some the time honoured tradition of writing up a daily diary may become a thing of the past, replaced by technology which enables a summary of your day to be achieved automatically.


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