I've been playing around with the beta version of iwantsandy from Values of n and I was thinking: this isn't intrusive enough. My guess is that it will get better very fast, but right now I just email, "Remind me of X in 5 days," and "Sandy," my digital assistant, sends me a reminder. Google Calendar does this already, but I suppose the idea is that the Sandy approach is intuitive. Why don't we integrate Sandy-style functionality into Gcal?

Or, much better still, why not have my digital assistant scour through all of my emails to extract information concerning the things I need or would like to get done? That is step one, which we see to some crude degree in Google Apps. Next, the digital assistant could monitor all of my phone conversations and everything I read on the web, and it could use FriendFeed functionality to track the related doings of my friends.

Over time, I could identify patterns: who are my real friends? Who deserves the most substantial birthday presents? Eventually, we could incorporate aspects of the MyLifeBits project, including a camera and recorder around my neck that would allow me to monitor daily interactions and conversations to provide even richer data for mining purposes.

And of course all of this would be advertiser-supported. My digital assistant would anticipate my needs and wants, and it would pay for them by drawing funds directly from my checking account. The recommendations engine would be powered by a social network and not by an Amazon-style massified approach.

This will strike most of you as a dark caricature of the present. I very sincerely would like to have access to all of this information, which would of course be encrypted and very, very private. I could mine my own data, and allow trusted corporate partners to do the same.

P.S.- I would also like to incorporate an advanced version of the CRON-o-meter, an awesome program designed to monitor intake of calories and nutrients.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.