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Design United
TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University
Design United


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Jun Li Jeung,Ā Janet Huang

How can we use AI to unlock treasured memories?

At home, we are surrounded by an immense number of objects that we keep and often cherish. Objects that may appear mundane, but hold a deep, valuable, meaning to the homeowner.

Ā Unfortunately, people often pass by their own objects without giving them much thought, allowing the memories attached to them to fade away. Moreover, visitors are often unaware of the hidden value and stories behind these treasured objects. What if we could use AI to unlock the hidden memories attached on these objects?

We designed and developed an interactive device called ā€œTreasurefinderā€ as a technology probe to explore how artificial intelligence, specifically Large Language Models (LLMs), could support remembering practices related to personal significant everyday objects.

Treasurefinder highlights two primary buttons after scanning the objects or cards at home:

  1. Ā Narrative Playback: This button enables users to immerse themselves in the authentic voice-recorded stories linked to each object. Through this feature, individuals can rekindle their connections with the past.
  2. Ā Ā AI-generated questions: The second button harnesses the power of AI to formulate thought-provoking questions linked to the original narratives. This function prompts users to delve deeper into their memories and reflections surrounding these cherished possessions.

Our results indicate that the AI-generated questions effectively aided participants in recollecting past experiences. Visitors also developed a heightened awareness of the contextual stories associated with the objects, leading to a greater appreciation of the homeowner's possessions. Additionally, our observations revealed that the AI-generated questions played a significant role in strengthening relationships among friends, facilitating a deeper understanding of each other. Lastly, the AI-generated questions assisted participants in reflecting on their past, prompting them to contemplate and revisit their personal experiences.

This project merely scratches the surface on remembering practices with AI. To realize the full potential AI has in aiding human memory processes, further exploration of this emerging field is essential.