April 03, 2004

The Next Big Thing - Software AI Sifting Algorithms. I see a trend that's been forming for a long time, and I'm sure others will agree. With the advent of big disks, and bigger small disks, faster disks, and bigger permanent storage, we are beginning to accumulate massive amounts of data. Some of it is junk, some of it is just because we can, and some of it is vitality important.
Short example. When you first downloaded Morpheus, Kazaa, GNUTELLA and/or Napster, I'll bet you started downloading songs like there was no tomorrow. Maybe you downloaded 20 hours of music. When you were done with downloading all those songs, did you spend 20 hours going through the music to:

  • Ensure the song was complete by listening to the whole thing
  • Fix the MP3 ID3 tags with the proper artist, album and genre
  • Sort the files into separate directories by genre, or load them into another program for sorting
My guess is that you may have done this for some of what you downloaded, but you never got around to doing the whole collection. Face it, America is filled with people who love to collect stuff. Whether it be Pokemon cards, Magic cards, D&D source manuals, baseball/football/sports cards, knick-knacks, crystal, magazines, books, so on and so on..... we love to collect it. And sometimes we take the time to sort through it all. How do you sort through terabytes of data, though? How do you find the time to organize all of the digital pictures, digital music, digital videos and other material that you store on your computer?
There are numerous programs out there that will do this for you, but the software isn't keeping up with our needs. Sooner or later, we will find that the software just wasn't designed to do the work for us, and that our time involvement is just too resource intensive. What we're going to need in the future is software that is smart enough to sort through everything on its own. It will need to be able to handle terabyte sized databases, sort through more than one type of file (music, images, etc), and will have to be available for the common user. It will be able to analyze the content, tag it, make intelligent decisions and follow some simple rules that we give it (porn in this directory, heavy metal music in this directory, password protect this directory, etc.) Yet one more thing for me to spend my online time looking for. I'll bet there's a few projects already at SourceForge designed to do this very thing. If you find it first, let me know.

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