Idea 377: Your computer should remember everything you’ve done

We spend a lot of time on our computers. Maybe even a majority of our time. And that’ll only increase for mankind as a whole going into the future. Computers are good at recording and storing data. They have better memories than humans (just listen to Episode 1 of the Serial podcast to confirm that!) And yet, they don’t. What we do on our computers should be leveraged. Index it, make it searchable, and make it useful.

Many years ago, Google made a half-hearted attempt at this with Google Desktop Search. It indexed the files on my computer, but that was about it. Someone should go all the way, and create some kind of local software that records everything I do.

That means it should know everything I’ve typed, everything I’ve read, everything I’ve bookmarked. It should be a smart keylogger, a screen recorder, and take time into account. It should know whether it’s a weekday or a weekend. Whether it’s morning, afternoon, or evening — and behave differently and appropriately. Durations should matter, but not only in that longer events matter more. Something that’s done quickly or as a one-off should also be noted, and possibly even highlighted.

It should have built-in dashboards, reminders, and tips that make it automatically useful, with no manual action required on my part. It should suggest ways for me to be more productive, and show me curated and individualized graphs, charts, and statistics at regular intervals in order to keep me focused on what matters.

Of course, security is of utmost importance. The software needs to prove to me (perhaps with a firewall and/or sandboxing) that none of the data it’s recording ever leaves my computer. Ideally, it would also be open source.

Perhaps this would be a good application of some form of artificial intelligence.

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