As a professional system administrator, the idea of data loss horrifies me. A few years ago, I became interested in things like how memory works, and how to improve my own; mind mapping and memory palaces, for instance. Remembering everything is a good thing, right?
Well, maybe not. Maybe it's just as well that I don't recall the exact details of a fight I had with my wife a few months ago, and how much it hurt when I pulled a muscle in my back as a teenager, or the precise details of what my dog smelled like after he'd found a dead woodchuck to roll around in. Maybe the hundreds of other details I'm sure I've forgotten in my lifetime, some squishing together, and some fading, are not just a part of who I am.
What if this sort of fading and forgetting was integral to how human memory works? Whatever its importance to us personally, memory itself must be a key component to how human intelligence and cognition works - which returns me to my first sentence.
What if it's impossible to build a true AI without granting it the ability to forget things? How does one simulate an undergrad degree, along with its almost requisite series of hard nights out on the town and slaughtered brain cells? How do we decide what memories are important to keep around, and which must fade in order for our artificial person to be... well, a person?