Grand Challenge: Memories for Life Nigel Shadbolt and Wendy Hall The University of Southampton
Structure • What is a Grand Challenge? • History of the M4L GC • The phenomena of memory • The science of memory • The technology of memory • Application Opportunities • Issues • Ethical • Funding • Collaboration
What is a Grand Challenge? • Revolutionary shift in thinking or practice • Enthusiastic support from scientific communities • Appeals to the public imagination • A clear criterion for success or failure • Long term benefits to science, industry, society • International scope • Interdisciplinary, collaborative research • Examplars…
Grand Challenges • Put a man on the moon within a decade • Map the human genome • Build a computer to beat the world chess champion
Memories for Life Grand Challenge • Part of the UKCRC/EPSRC sponsored Grand Challenges for Computer Science Research – November 2002 Workshop • Surfaced as a topic again during the Foresight Cognitive Systems Workshops • Submitted a proposal to hold a planning event to Foresight – held London mid August • Why the interest?
Memories are Compelling • We are quite literally our memories • They are both personal and social • They exist in all modalities • Pervasive and central in all walks of life • What is your first memory? • Do you remember you first day at school? • Do you remember the first time you hurt your sibling? • Are they real or constructed? • Are they lost, diminished or overlaid?
Memories: Shared and Private • Certain events as memories evoke time and place with exquisite clarity
The scale of evocation • Some are global flash bulb memories others are national and many are personal
The Science of Memory • Memory – recognition of multiple systems • Working and Short Term Memory • Multi–component; e.g auditory/verbal STM, visual/spatial LTM • Long Term Memory • Episodic When did you last ride a bicycle? • Semantic What is a bicycle? • Procedural How do you ride a bicycle? • Recognition Is this a bicycle? • Value Phobic to bicycles?
Episodic Memory: Reference is to oneself Organised temporally Events remembered “consciously” Susceptible to forgetting Context dependent Semantic Memory: Reference is with respect to general knowledge Not organised temporally Events are “known” Relatively permanent Context independent The Psychology of Memory: Exemplar Differences
Memories and Plasticity • Neurons send out axons to synapse with targets • Once established targets supply neurotrophic (NT) factors • These factors are essential to the continued survival of innervating neurons • If a neuron receives too little factor it dies • Target innervation and neuronal elimination are adaptive mechanisms
Model of Plasticity Applied in silico to development of a variety of cortical maps Assumption – time average uptake of NTF by i from x determines the number of synapses projected by i to x T. Elliott and N.R. Shadbolt. Developmental robotics: Manifesto and application." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A. In the press.
Memories for Life: The Dix Measure • 70 years ~ 25,550 days, 613,00 hours, 2.2x109 secs • 100 kbits/sec for audio/video • 27.5 terabytes for a life • 343 80 gigabyte hard drives • 2 years ~ 60 million seconds of data ~ 6 hard drives • 2073 storage capacity could have doubled 47 times • Capacities could have increased 12 orders of magnitude • Your life on a grain of sand!
Memories for Life: The Hardware • Fujitsu - .8 inch 80 gigabyte hard drive • Video cameras • Video transmitter • Complete PC • Other modalities e.g smell
Memories for Life: The Computer Science • Database Systems • Security • Operating Systems and Versioning, • Persistence of format, re-represenations • Artificial Intelligence • Human Computer Interaction • Visualisation and Virtual Reality
Memories for Life and Information Overload We are drowning in information and starving for knowledge Infosmog: The condition of having too much information to be able to take effective action or make an informed decision The deluge of data is overwhelming Knowledge Information Data
Automatic Annotation • Associating meta-data with content • Large-scale annotation of natural language texts, images, streaming media
Narrative Generation • Using NLP, structure generating and linking techniques to build narratives
Associative Linking • Supporting multiple context or associative indexes into content
Web and Grid Services • Seamless access to computationally intensive services – image registration, annotation, classification…
The Perfect Storm • Convergence of at least three disciplines • Neuroscience and psychology • Device engineering • Computer Science • Potential to create a truly remarkable range of applications
Memories for Life: Application Contexts • Multimedia Searching • Large Scale Experience Repositories • (e.g Big Brother, early child interactions….) • Continuous health record • Stories from a Life • Intelligent Mathematics Tutor • Memory support in Elder Care • Virtual Memories
Lest we forget • The the nature and role of forgetting in natural and artificial systems • The desirability of post-mortem memories • The way in which these memory prostheses and the externalisation of memory will change social practice • Memory is a social and cultural construct
Other efforts • Xanadu – Ted Nelson • MyLifeBits – Gordon Bell@Microsoft • LifeLog – DARPA
Ethical Issues • Ethical • Privacy • Trust
Future Events • M4L London August 20th • IAC Bristol • Follow up workshop primarily life science based CS early 2004 • Primarily CS workshop at March BCS Grand Challenges in Computing 04 Newcastle • End of 2004 CS and Life Science International Workshop
Summary • This is a compelling Grand Challenge • We have enthusiastic engagement of researchers and Learned Societies - BCS/IEE/BNA/EPS • Like to seek RCUK funding for network support • Support for large scale experience repositories • All communities stand to gain • Common problem space – fundamental science etc • Richness/availability of data, technology and methods will support/mediate interaction • Ethical and social issues must be considered