Our lives are filled by moments that we live and experience. We remember moments differently—we may remember distinctly the first time we rode a bike or the first time we looked out an airplane window. Or maybe we remember the last words of a dying loved one. Our brain categorizes our memories based on how important they are and how often we recall those memories. Many life experiences fade and are forgotten, like the color of the shirt our friend wore the Tuesday before last. We are able to better retain specific memories because our brain recognizes their values and stores them according to that value. Now, the way we store memories is an idea that translates into the world of IT: teaching computers how to store data based on its significance.
Teaching Our Computers to Store Smartly
Storage capacity grows increasingly more complicated the more we are digitally connected. Our phones save our locations; our cars save our Bluetooth information; our computers store our work files. Information is constantly being stored, and that information takes up space and memory speed. So when everything in our lives is digitally stored, how can we compartmentalize that information into what is important, and how can we teach our devices to store accordingly? IBM might have come up with an answer: teach computers to assign value to information and then store according to those values.
How Computers Can Value Information
IBM data and storage specialists explain their idea using the example of art: The value of art depends on its demand and rarity. So the rarer and more popular an art piece is, the more important it is and the greater its need for security. Likewise, if a company has a large majority of its employees accessing specific data files, those files are more in demand. Therefore, the computer would value those files highly and make sure they are saved on flash storage for quickest access, are backed up frequently, and are tightly protected to secure the valuable information. Similarly, an older document that is almost never accessed, will be stored on a hard drive or even disk to allow more storage space to the more valuable information.
Smart Storage is Simply Smart
If a computer can recognize the value of information and data, and then store it accordingly, it could increase efficiency within a company’s working system. Companies wouldn’t have to pay as much for large-scale expensive storage capabilities, because only the important data and files will be stored on quick-accessing storage drives. The rest can be stored on less-expensive options. This will also allow for better security on the information that matters the most because the computer will put more of its protection efforts to the data that needs protecting. IBM is still testing this smart storage, or “cognitive storage,” but its prospects provide a hopeful future for company efficiency and security in terms of storage space.