Personal Data Matters: New Opportunities from Lifelogs

Assoc. Prof. Cathal Gurrin, Dublin City University


Cathal Gurrin is an Associate Professor at the School of Computing, at Dublin City University, Ireland and the deputy head of the department. He is an Investigator at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and the Adapt centre. His research interests are personal analytics and lifelogging. He is especially interested in how wearable sensors can be used to infer knowledge about the real-world activities of the individual and how lifelogs can be used to enhance the life experience of the individual. He has been the General Chair of ECIR 2011, MMM 2014, CBMI 2019 and ACM ICMR 2020 and was a founder of the NTCIR lifelog benchmarking challenges and the Lifelog Search Challenge workshops.


Personal Lifelogs are media rich archives of personal data from many heterogeneous sources, such as wearable sensors, cameras and informational sensors. Recent advances in information technology have brought us to a point where it is now feasible to capture rich personal lifelogs for all individuals. Being a relatively new research challenge, there has not yet been a significant body of research into understanding the data analytics and artificial intelligence approaches that can be employed to make lifelogs useful for the user. In this talk, I will explore the potential of lifelogging to enhance the life experience of the individual, with a specific emphasis on how lifelogs can be used to provide a new type of personal search engine. I will review past research in the area, and explore the various efforts underway to drive the community forward by practitioners through real-world applications and benchmarking exercises, such as the Lifelog Search Challenge.