On SuperMemo 16+, SuperMemo.com and innovations

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Recently, a SuperMemo user has approached us with the following question:
I’ve been using SuperMemo for Windows every day for almost 5 years, starting with version 14 and then through to the current version (16.1). …surely the desktop version [16+] of SuperMemo will continue to be developed separately? It’s currently(!) the only implementation of incremental reading there is…

Yes, it will. This may have not transpired clearly enough from our opening post, but indeed we are going to converge and migrate current supermemo.net, SuperMemo UX, iOS and Android versions to SuperMemo.com, maintaining and developing the SuperMemo 16+ line at the same time.

Why keep different versions? While SuperMemo.com is meant to be a place for spreading well-tested concepts applicable to the general market, the SuperMemo 16+ desktop line shall remain an active research forefront and testing field for new, brave ideas. We believe this is a good mixture for SuperMemo to maintain its leading role in education innovation, which includes the proud history of first-ever computer-optimized implementation of spaced repetition in the 1980s, research on memory that followed in the 1990s, the development of ground-breaking course models including one of world’s best examples of edutainment, the invention of incremental reading, and pioneering research on sleep and learning in the 2000s. While not all of these ideas are readily applicable for general audience, we do not want to restrain our thinking or limit our users’ access to these developments.

What innovations can you expect from SuperMemo in 2016? First of all, recently we have been working intensively on the theory of two components of long-term memory (stability and retrievability) proposed first time back in 1988 and published in 1995. It seems that this recent research may lead to even more effective version of SuperMemo repetition scheduling algorithm being implemented in both SuperMemo 16+ and SuperMemo.com still in 2016. First tests show that the new algorithm is substantially better at predicting recall probability of individual items as opposed to statistically averaged retention. If conditions allow, we are planning to make an attempt at implementing a simplified version of incremental reading at SuperMemo.com. Users of SuperMemo 17 may become the first early adopters of neural creativity, a concept that we will soon write more about on our blog.

Krzysztof Biedalak
Piotr Woźniak