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Mind Grab

Shanghai: fish with memory

Our executive creative team came out to Shanghai last week – with plenty of interesting conversations in the many formal and informal sessions, a surprising number of which, with liberal lubrication went into the early hours.

Those of you that travel frequently to Asia will appreciate bar talk isn’t restricted to the group you arrive with, but rapidly spirals out – western vegetables into a Chinese hotpot, if that’s the right analogy.

One of the tools that I’ve grown used to using in the past months is Google Translate – it turns out its perfect for those long rambling conversations in bars where body language takes precedence over words – where you can indulge in a slow game of he said she said (and its variants). Which is all good and well, until the next day when you look at Google Translate history and decide that it was a conversation that was better off without a history. Except that Google doesn’t forget. It sometimes makes it harder to remember, deliberately (from a user interface design perspective) or by accident – by lacking the context to be relevant all of the time.

Today I not only buy into Google knowing both sides of the contents of my early morning bar-room conversations with half-strangers, but actively facilitate the process?

Take a look around you at every sight, sound, thought. Its all there for the taking for the companies that deliver the next.

Today’s early hours bar-room conversation with a tech early adopter is tomorrows real-time translation on a holidaying mainstreamer. Think babel fish, where the fish has a perfect memory of what was said, and hasn’t figured out what to do with that knowledge.

Still not found the word to describe the act of digitising what once analogue, creating persistence where once it was forgotten.

It’s not land-grab.

A mind-grab perhaps.