According to Wikipedia, SuperMemo has been available since 1985. Due to its age, it may be the oldest spaced repetition system that is still available. However, was it also the first computer-based spaced repetition system? If not, what was the first one?

(I have checked a few papers on spaced repetition, and these sometimes mention systems such as SuperMemo and Anki, but they did not say what was the first one. Anki is definitely much more recent.)


1 Answer 1


The wired's portrait of SuperMemo creator Piotr Wozniak states that there had been experimental software before SuperMemo, which apparently never got out of the labs:

The best time to study something is at the moment you are about to forget it. And yet — as Neisser might have predicted — that insight was useless in the real world. Determining the precise moment of forgetting is essentially impossible in day-to-day life.

Obviously, computers were the answer, and the idea of using them was occasionally suggested, starting in the 1960s. But except for experimental software, nothing was built.

I, too, don't know of SRS available to the public before SuperMemo.

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