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Would You Make A Digital Copy Of Yourself To Live On After You Die?

Keith Bell, ThinkStock
Keith Bell, ThinkStock

Most of us are human.  That means unless you are a lizard person (scaled-American) or the immortal Bigfoot, at some point you are going to die.  That’s the way it is, and that’s the way it has been since the beginning of time.  That may be about to change, thanks to a very strange experiment.

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According to CNN Tech, a girl named Eugenia Kuyda lost her best friend Roman suddenly.  She had also been working for an AI company for 2 years, so she had all of the capabilities and technology available to set up one of the most fascinating and possibly disturbing uses of artificial intelligence ever conceived.  Eugenia created a chat-bot that mirrored her dead friend’s mannerisms and personality so that she could have text conversations with it.

Even though she knew her friend wasn’t really there, she found herself having 30 minute plus conversations with the digital ghost that she had created.  They talked about music, being lonely, and shared memories like old friends do – except one of them is usually alive.  It’s hard to say whether or not this is a good thing yet, as the grieving process is not fully understood.

There are similar services (like Dead Social) that allow you to record video wills, send video messages to your friends and family via Facebook when you pass, and even send happy birthday messages to your loved ones through Twitter after your passing.  This new direction is something quite different.  Building an interactive, digital version of yourself would essentially make an immortal version of you as long as the internet existed (or at least a local computer with you “saved” on it).  The CNN article is a fascinating read, you can check it out here.

The only problem I see is that if it is a chat-bot of me is accurate, then it will be angry when you talk to me about movies and you bring up Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  If not, it isn’t accurate.  If it doesn’t act sad when we talk about my grandpa – it ain’t me.  Which it isn’t and is at the same time.  The whole thing is an existential pretzel.

 

 

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