Self Surveillance

I’m a huge data nerd. I really like collecting data, even though I suck at data analysis. I always imagine a scenario where I build an amazing AI, and I’m collecting data for then. One of the types of data I like to collect are interesting conversations. The audio recorder is on my home screen. I always seek permission to record, of course. But, the best conversations happen spontaneously. I’m often lost in the conversation and we realize only too late that we should’ve recorded the audio. I can’t count how many good ideas I’ve lost because they came with like a half dozen others over the span of an hour of conversation. By the time you pick up your phone, it’s too late.

I want to make an audio recorder, that just keeps recording. It keeps a buffer of the last, say three hours of my conversations and gives me the opportunity to go back to the conversations and store them. By default, it doesn’t store anything, just keeps a buffer. It can be as simple as an app. No dedicated hardware needed. I always have a pair of bluetooth headphones on, so the phone being away or in my pocket is not an issue. I know that most voice assistants store voice as well, but I like the idea of this being away from the cloud. Some semblence of privacy and ownership remains that way.

Now, I know this sounds very black mirror ‘grain’ like, and privacy intrusion is a big issue. I’m not sure how I feel about that. One can argue that privacy is pretty much dead and we should just accept the fact. Our only real hope is to rely on the decency of our fellow human being. Huh, well.. good luck with that.