I'm currently working on a world where there are people that live in data bases (basically a computer with no internet connection). They link to a human for life and and can record everything the human experiences (this can be shut off by mutual consent of the human and the database for a period of time), as well as record all events that happen in the same room as them (kinda a sonar/radar effect). They also have the ability to project an avatar and speak (these are independent e.g. they can speak without the avatar). The size is variable, but is always easily transportable by the human.

Here is where it get fun. They are unique individuals, much like humans. I wanted to avoid the "handwavium" of magic, but if it makes a difference, they are AI's built by magic to help casters recall spells in specific, but they also act as a perfect journal for that mage. This allows them to be personalized to whoever they bond with. But, a being with perfect memory and a want to help their human has a large chance of having personality quirks that are similar between individuals. Unfortunately, I'm not a psychologist so I have no clue (and couldn't even begin to guess) what this would do to a human-like personality.

What manner of personality quirks would be likely to develop in a human that is a database [for storage and retrieval of data](and so has perfect memory)?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So what's the question? You may want to rephrase things, right now it sounds more like you're pitching a story idea then asking for help. $\endgroup$
    – kuhl
    Apr 14, 2015 at 23:47
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like you're going for a version of Sheldon from Big Bang, except in data storage format. $\endgroup$
    – Twelfth
    Apr 14, 2015 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with kuhl: I don't see a question here. I would point out, however, that a digital entity is unlikely to develop a human-like personality (though it could be programmed with one). $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Apr 15, 2015 at 0:08
  • $\begingroup$ Read Needle by Hal Clement. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Apr 15, 2015 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ The question is: What manner of personality quirks would be likely to develop in a human that is a database (and so has perfect memory). $\endgroup$ Apr 15, 2015 at 0:41

2 Answers 2


There are several classified types of memory recall. http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exceptional_memory

Hyperthymesia may be the best fit for you story as I understand it. People with this type of memory recall seem to be able recall every detail of a given day as if standing there in real time and describing what they see. As might be expected these individuals share some emotional characteristics of people with forms of autism.

Some other emotional characteristics that may be relevant to your story characters are what can manifest during hostage takings. The Stockholm Syndrome is when hostages (your memory characters) begin to form an emotional attachment to their captors. Reversely, the Lima Syndrome is when the abductor (people with memory module) feels empathy for the captive and lets them go.

Additional emotional characteristics that may develop from long periods of isolation for your memory character could include anxiety, hallucinations and lower mental performance to name a few.

How Extreme Isolation Warps Minds (BBC)

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    $\begingroup$ After reading the first entry, the closer one is actually probably a mnemonic-type memory. Stockholm syndrome is not a problem, as the data-people are almost symbiotic to the body-people, and so the relationship is basically that of really good friends. The last link was super interesting, it gives me a basis for why the two don't just switch "data-share" off for long periods of time. $\endgroup$ Apr 15, 2015 at 3:51

Accumulating emotional overload.

"Time heals all wounds" is equivalent to "Forgetting heals all wounds." All emotions are connected to our memories and the fresher the memory, the stronger the emotion. For such a creature every event of their life feels like it happened a minute ago. Every joy, fear, hurt, disappointment, grudge, unless explicitly invalidated by a later event, remains with them at full strength.

You really need to develop some mechanism of coping with it, some kind of erasure spell or such, because the emotional load would become unbearable quite fast - especially with conflicting emotions when both good and bad things happen, although after any more stressful event they would suffer from a permanent PTSD attack.


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