Developing Actionable Personal Intelligence for everyone

Human life, and so any other organism or organization’s life, is a sequence of events. The importance of different events varies depending on their nature, length, and impact on other events in life. Historically, people have used different mechanisms to record information and experiences related to events. This process started with personal memory. As technology developed, humans always used the most modern technology of their time to record their personal experiences of events either to share with others, or to relive them, or to reflect upon and understand events and relationships. This process of recording important events and experiences associated with them started on cave walls and has closely tracked the technology evolution since then. Personal diaries, autobiographies, biographies, chronicles, photo albums, video collections, and lifelogs using cameras and other devices demonstrate how with changing technologies, mechanisms for recording experiences have changed.
Electronic media has brought interesting new dimensions to this art of recording personal experiences for sharing and reflecting. First, it has now become extremely easy to record such experiences with almost zero effort. Different sensors in mobile phones can record location, time, and activity information unobtrusively. Many other sensors are becoming part of mobile phones and will even record health related information. Combine these with camera and microphones in the phones and you have powerful audio-visual experience capture for events. Effectively, we are now at a point when we can record a significant part of our life using sensors in a mobile phone. Since most people have their mobile phone always with them, data related to all events in which one participated is being recorded mostly in the background. Moreover, people record some other important data effortlessly using camera and microphone in the phone. The ease of collection of personal activity related data has resulted in many research projects and many companies that are recording data related to some activity, say eating habits or physical activities, and providing applications that track and analyze this data for personal improvements. It is expected that future health care will depend a lot on such applications.
The second aspect of collecting this data is that the volume and types of data pose new data management challenges. The data from different sources usually result in different silos that do not communicate with each other and are indexed using data centric approaches. In the current form it is not possible to make sense of these diverse sources of data. We believe that by organizing all this data around meaningful events, it is possible to understand data to reflect on broader experiences of events and then share and reflect on them. Business intelligence emerged out of desire to correlate different data sources for analyzing focused business events for taking data-supported actions. We believe that time has come to develop actionable personal intelligence techniques using the data being continuously collected by our phones and other devices.

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