Will You Live Forever in the Digital Afterlife?
Our mortality is something that we probably guilty of taking for granted and managing our social media channels after we die should be the last thing on our mind. However, that doesn’t stop an increasing number of websites and applications providing digital immortality solutions.
Forget biological immortality that’s so 20th century, Eter9 is a social networking site that is offering virtual immortality that eerily echoes an episode of Black Mirror. The concept is that AI will learn your personality based on your historic statuses, shares, and how you interact or comment with other users to create a virtual “counterpart” which will then post on your behalf.
Essentially, this digital counterpart will learn everything about you and your behaviors, with the aim of continuing when you go offline forever by posting comments, etc. Although, your initial response is likely to be “creepy” there are already over 5,000 people that have signed up to the service.
ETER9 is a form of social interaction for the new generation, where it’s possible to establish connections with both human users and virtual beings. I can create a New Reality where the impossible can happen and eternity is within reach.” ETER9 – CEO Henrique Jorge told IBTimes UK
There is another website over at eterni.me that similarly offers to “collect your thoughts, stories and memories, curates them and creates an intelligent avatar that looks like you.” And already has over 29,000 signed up to its private testing mode.
This is not an original concept, and those with fond memories of a world before narcissism engulfed our planet will remember that a similar offering called Virtual Eternity that ironically died in 2010 due to a complete lack of interest. Maybe it’s the mortality of websites that developers should concentrate on rather than people.
Does the thought of leaving behind a digital self with access to your thoughts, memories and personalities fill you with horror? The idea of an immortal Kim Kardashian clogging up our social media timelines for eternity is enough to make anyone break into a cold sweat.
You could be forgiven for thinking that sites such as Facebook increasingly feel like a disingenuous playground where our social selves present a fake perfect life for everyone to click “like” without even reading your post.
Although, I am sure the people behind these new sites will advise they will offer a little comfort to those who have lost loved ones, the idea of Facebook friends annoying us from the grave is scarier than any horror film you are likely to see this year.
All too often people spend longer recording moments than living them in this life and the idea of these recordings representing you for eternity could be considered quite tragic. I am open to the idea that I have completely misunderstood the concept of creating a digital afterlife, so I want to throw this one open to you for your viewpoints on this controversial subject.
Will you be signing up to Eter9 or eterni.me? Do you see any positives in this latest social media idea or is it a step too far?