Steve Whittaker- The Past, Present, and Future of Digital Memories

Recent technical developments have inspired an interest in 'digital memories': repositories for capturing our entire personal history of personal and work related information that will substitute for our fragile organic memories. I will first review the Digital Memories vision, briefly present various studies that challenge that vision, moving on to suggest an alternative approach to the topic that is informed by cognitive science, suggesting that instead of focusing on exhaustive capture we should be designing prosthetic memory devices that are (a) synergistic with our organic memories (b) have mechanisms for selecting and abstracting critical events from the memory record.