Researchers from the Recall project recently discussed their work and participated in the European Commission’s ICT 2015event. The event, held in Lisbon from 20-22nd October 2015 with the theme ‘Innovate, Connect, Transform’ provided a unique opportunity to highlight the exciting vision of Recall, prompt new discussion around the topic of memory augmentation, and to help promote scientific exploration of augmented cognition in Europe.
As part of their participation in the event, the Recall project members hosted a 45-minute networking session on the topic of `Augmenting Human Cognition – ICT to support capture, reflection and recall’. The vision statement for this session — The time is ripe to attempt the creation of memory augmentation technology that provides the user with the experience of an extended and enhanced memory, but which is based on improvements in the collection, mining, and presentation of appropriate information to facilitate cued memory recall — attracted significant interest from attendees and the session was very well attended.
With approximately 50 attendees from 16 different countries, the event was a fantastic platform for exchanging ideas for advancing ICT and human cognition. The event built new connections between European researchers, innovators and decision makers interested in exploring the area of augmented human cognition. During the session participants worked together to develop the community’s understanding of the challenges, approaches, and possibilities in the space, as well as a shared awareness of work in this area across Europe. Participants generated a wealth of ideas for future research directions in the field and the level of discussion was intense. The feedback on the event was overwhelmingly positive with everyone agreeing that they had successfully networked with new people. We have made a comprehensive report on the event available for download: ICT 2015 Networking Event Report.
On June 24-28 Recall researcher Dr Caterina Cinel attended SARMAC 2015, a biennial conference on applied memory and cognition. Researchers at the conference present work where psychological theories of memory and cognition are applied to real-word domains, such as law, education, advertising, politics, etc. At the conference, Caterina presented a poster showing the research carried out at Essex University in the last year on retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF). RIF is a well-studied phenomenon where retrieval practice of a subset of events can enhance their later recall, but can impair accessibility to related but unreviewed events. In seven experiments, Essex researchers C. Cinel and G. Ward show that we can manipulate factors that selectively amplify and/or attenuate the forgetting and enhancement of selected memories. However, whereas retrieval practice effects can be found with all stimuli, to date, evidence for RIF has been limited to semantic lab-based stimuli, while we found limited evidence of RIF with real-word, episodic stimuli.
The poster was very well received and during the presentation session many researchers have shown interest in our research and given valuable insight and comments.
Last week researchers from RECALL presented a series of papers, a tutorial and demonstration at the PerDis 2015 symposium in Saarbrucken, Germany.
The presence of ubiquitous displays (both in the environment and via personal devices such as smartwatches and Google Glass) provides many new opportunities for displaying memory cues to trigger recall. The PerDis symposium is focused on communication through and use of pervasive display systems in public and semi-public spaces and such displays have huge potential for helping to deliver memory cues in the future. However, presenting memory cues on public displays poses new challenges, and as part of our research into memory visualisation we are exploring these. For example, development of new scheduling architectures and personalisation models for memory augmentation through public displays.
At the PerDis symposium, our researchers presented their work in the domain of public displays and engaged in many interesting conversations with others who were excited about memory augmentation as a new application domain for digital signage and pervasive displays. We were really pleased to get such positive feedback and hope that this topic will continue to excite the community.
Two presentations from the Essex researchers working on RECALL have been accepted at key international memory conferences.
Geoff Ward will be presenting this May at CEMS 2015 (Context and Episodic Memory Symposium) in Philadelphia some of the retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF) work from the RECALL grant. This conference is heavily theoretically driven, but includes work by Prof. Simon Dennis (University of Newcastle) who is presenting on experience-sampling in the wild, a line of research similar to the experience sampling (XPR) work that we are planning.
Caterina Cinel will give a presentation in June at SARMAC XI (Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition), in Victoria, BC, again about Retrieval Induced Forgetting in the real world. This conference is far more applied in outlook, and we are keen to see how our research is considered by those interested in such fields as eye-witness testimony, memory training, and the role of memory testing in education.
Suppose you could capture and process a synopsis of your day into an edited summary that you reviewed each night?
In Recall, we envisage an future in which technology can be used to help individuals actively maintain their memories through the review of recent experiences. For example, mobile devices, TV screens, heads-up displays and projectors could all be used as mechanisms for showing an “intelligent review” that summarised key events through video, email snippets, calendar events etc.
Recall researchers Geoff Ward and Caterina Cinel are beginning work on the intelligent review function of RECALL. What might we expect the mnemonic consequences to be of watching your daily synopsis on your later spontaneous ability to recall events from that day? Based on the laboratory phenomenon of retrieval–induced forgetting (RIF, see April 2014 post), one might expect increased access to the revised material but decreased access to related but not practiced events.
An article published in Horizon magazine last month featured Recall as one of a group of scientific projects centred on human memory. Together the projects illustrate how researchers are working to better understand our memories and to help us remember (and forget).
Thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and the availability of wearable technologies, large-scale data collection is on the rise. People log their steps with commercial products such as Fitbit and keep track of their activities and locations using apps like endomondo. Gordon Bell  went even further and made it his mission to attempt to record his entire life: images, sounds, videos as well as personal documents. He pioneered the trend towards lifelogging applications that has been supported by research projects such as Microsoft’s SenseCam . Whereas technologies such as Fitbit are aimed at collecting quantitative data about movement and health to set incentives for improvement, the SenseCam serves as memory aid by automatically capturing a digital record of the wearer’s day. Continue reading Lifelogging and Challenges of a Holistic Quantified Self→