Microsoft Research is putting the final touches on what I would call a “search-engine for your brain”. The concept is simple. If Google can index and make every web page in the world searchable, surely your mulit-gigahertz machine on your desk can make your memory searchable.
Their forthcoming program, called “Stuff I’ve Seen” or SIS, indexes every piece of information that shows up on your desktop. It will scan every email, Office document, and even web page, and store it into an index. Over time, this will grow quite large, but these days, even a 10Gb database is a small fraction of hard drive space on current machines.
Apparantly, it has been in use internally at Microsoft for over a year, and it works quite quickly (usually 1-2 seconds per query). If you remember seeing something about someone, sometime last year, type in a few keywords, and you’ll see a list of matches, sorted by relevance and date. It’s like Google for your desktop, that filters out anything you haven’t seen before.