OpinionJournal - Taste
Here's an interesting story about women who suffer from "phone text stress" in London. Sounds like information overload. Even though the concept of "information management" is already alive and kicking in the corporate and military worlds, it hasn't really hit private life yet. RSS feeds for news aggregators is a small start, but the potential for this technology is enormous. Imagine if you had a custom website, or something else easily accessible, that went out and found the things you normally need and displayed them all in one place -- not just news, as it stands today, but personal finances, your schedule, your contacts -- something which aggregated all of this info into one place. A step further would be if it was smart and could come to customize web search results for you. The final step would be if it had a human-seeming interaction method, like a voice-recognizing digital assistant with a personality of its own. Such ideas are prominent throughout the book "The Age of Spiritual Machines" which we read about 4 years ago. Kurzweill, the author, even goes so far as to say that eventually humans will come to love their human-like information concierges more than they do other humans, since the concierges will be strictly attuned to their needs. Kurzweill's book was interesting and on the whole far too optimistic. But you never know . . . This Opinionjournal article a few weeks ago askis what will become of publishing when all books are online and google-searchable. Very interesting.