What Will Happen When Robots Store All Our Memories

In the future, we could record, optimize, and replay our memories — even after death

David Ewing Duncan
OneZero
Published in
8 min readJul 15, 2019

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Credit: Ociacia/Getty Images

In an excerpt from his new book Talking to Robots, David Ewing Duncan imagines looking back from a future where memories can be permanently stored with the help of a technology called Memory Bot based on an actual conversation he had with Ken Goldberg, Tiffany Shlain, and Odessa Shlain Goldberg.

YYes, there really was a time when people were expected to preserve memories on their own. A time when you would share with your four-year-old daughter a stunning sunset and it wouldn’t be automatically recorded as a neural-meme. You felt so very close to your little one and she to you, only to have that moment vanish forever. Maybe you took a selfie, but that never really captured the whole experience.

Then came Memory Bot, with its revolutionary Quantum Meme Vector® technology. Created in the future by a husband and wife and their daughter — UC Berkeley roboticist Ken Goldberg, the filmmaker-raconteur Tiffany Shlain, and the future entrepreneur and philosopher Odessa Shlain Goldberg, respectively — Memory Bot was for years the most popular gift ever during the holiday shopping season, even more popular than Teddy Bots. Memory Bot remembered everything that you wanted it to…

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David Ewing Duncan
OneZero

Journalist, author, latest book: Talking to Robots (Dutton); Wired, Vanity Fair, Tech Review, Atlantic, NPR, NEO.LIFE; CEO Arc Fusion www.davidewingduncan.com