Because we all live online, we will all have digital afterlives.
In the not so distant future, AI may enable us to be immortal.
This is akin to defying death.
Recent technological advancements claim that AI can match previously recorded responses to potential inquiries, enabling a real-time yet asynchronous discussion.
In other words, it has the same sensation of a live Zoom chat.
This is akin to defying death.
Despite the fact that the departed have physically vanished, their legacy appears to continue, enabling loved ones, acquaintances, and other interested parties to “interact” with them. The business has also created similar experiences for other people, including William Shatner, who is still alive.
Shatner was questioned on his regret throughout this interactive experience. After giving a lengthy “discussion” on personal accountability, he then turned back to the original query (in Shatner-esque style). By the way, the response is not yes.
Similar technology is being developed by other businesses, such as HereAfter AI. The business seeks to rebuild memory using conversational AI and provide “digital immortality” to its clients. This technology evolved from a chatbot that was created previously by a son in an effort to record his dying father’s recollections.
This urge to “resurrect” our lost loved ones is an understandable driving force and sheds light on these businesses’ potential. The social network ETTER9, developed by Portuguese programmer Henrique Jorge, is another business. He emphasised how appealing these skills are to people of all ages, saying, “Your great-grandchildren will be able to chat to you in a few years, even if they haven’t had a chance to get to know you personally.”
How can you communicate with the dead?
In the Netflix episode “Be Right Back,” a lady who lost her lover in a car accident becomes attached to a manufactured activity. This addressed the need for connection and affection in humans.
Similar to how Joshua replicated Jessica’s presence using a text-based bot produced by Project December utilising OpenAI’s GPT-3 big language transformer, Joshua is a young guy who lost his love Jessica to an autoimmune condition. He revealed bits and pieces of their talks, Jessica’s hobbies, and some of her social media posts.
Joshua had a colourful and emotional encounter, made even more so by the fact that the robot “spoke” precisely what the actual Jessica would have said (in his estimation). Additionally, after grieving for years, interacting with the bot helped him find some catharsis and closure.
This is even more amazing considering that he attempted dating and counselling without getting anywhere, and he was still unable to move on. Developer of the December project Jason Rohrer remarked, “It might not be the first intelligent machine, but it has some pretty intriguing features. However, it has the impression of being the first machine to possess a soul.
Most likely, it won’t be the last. Microsoft, for instance, stated in 2021 that it had received a patent for software that might make humans seem as chatbots, opening the door to a larger use of AI to bring the dead back to life.
In a society driven by AI, when is someone truly dead?
Neal Stephenson contrasts the here and now of “Meatworld” with a digital afterlife known as “Bitworld” in his book “Fall; or, Dodge in Hell.” In the book, the tech industry eventually discovers a way to map Dodge’s brain by carefully scanning the seven hundred trillion synaptic connections and 100 billion neurons that make up a human’s connectome, uploading this data to the cloud, and then placing it on one of the two sides of a virtual reality.
Thousands of other souls who have passed away in Meatworld will join the growing AI-created terrain that becomes Bitworld once Dodge’s digital awareness is up and running.
Together, they create a digital universe in which these souls are aware and undergo digital reincarnation, a type of technology-driven immortality.
Today’s technology does not yet exist to establish a human connectome or Bitworld, just as it did not exist ten years ago to develop bots that digitally maintain the memories and, to some extent, the presence of the departed. Although it is a very difficult undertaking, Louis Rosenberg of Unanimous AI says it is potentially possible.
And thanks to ongoing developments in artificial intelligence, neurobiology, supercomputing, and quantum computing, people are now working on these technologies.
AI may even be able to offer digital immortality.
Elon Musk’s brain-machine interface startup, Neural Link, is focusing on several areas of mind uploading.
Many affluent individuals have apparently made plans to store their bodies after death until the necessary technology is available, including internet billionaire Peter Thiel.
One company that provides this preservation service is Alcor. Former CEO of Alcor and futurist Max Moore stated: “Our perspective is that when we pronounce someone dead, it’s a bit of an arbitrary regulation. They actually require rescuing.
The Amazon series “Upload,” in which a man’s memories and personality are uploaded to a comparable avatar, also examines the idea of mind uploading. In a realm called “Lakeview,” this avatar dwells in what is ostensibly an endless digital afterlife.
An article in reaction to this posed the question, “Even if some technology could remove all the information in your brain and upload it to the cloud, the resulting awareness is still you?
Although there are numerous questions, this one is perhaps the most important and won’t be resolved until the technology is available.
When would that occur?
Greg Daniels, the creator of the television series “Upload,” suggests that the capacity to upload consciousness depends entirely on the quantity of information present in the brain, despite the fact that it is a significant amount. And you should be able to measure everything, all the information contained in a person’s brain, if you had a computer powerful enough and quick enough to scan it.
The ethical issues this raises might be as many as the connectome and will likely become crucial far sooner than we anticipate.