One of my key research tools as a writer is a very flexible archiving system called DEVONThink … which its brilliant creators describe as an
Information Manager with Built-in Artificial Intelligence
I’ve been using it for five years (almost to the day: I bought my first version on 9 August 2005) and the artificial intelligence is impressive (although it creeps up on you sometimes). The database of information and materials I’ve loaded into DEVONThink over that time is huge and wide-ranging … and only getting more valuable with age. (Ahem)
In my experience, the power of DEVONthink’s artificial intelligence (AI) is that it alerts me to links between items in the database that I wouldn’t have made.
Sure, the program has a superb and flexible search function, but the extra edge of the AI is that it can classify and suggest other items in the database whose relationship I might not have recognised.
For example, it will find an article I downloaded from the New York Times which parenthetically mentions an aspect of something I’m looking at presently — and suggest that I ‘See also… ‘ … and often, I’ve appreciated the suggestion.
It’s very, very good technology for someone like me — a journalist, writer and evidence gatherer. (I know this must sound like an enthusiastic endorsement — it’s genuine. I’m not an affiliate or anything for DEVON, just a happy user.)
Anyway, then I saw this sign recently … and had to laugh.
Ain’t that the truth?