Get ready to be either morbidly curious or seriously creeped out. Maybe a little of both. There’s a new startup out of MIT that will allow to you digitally recreate a loved one after they die so that you can still “communicate” with them from beyond the grave.
No, they’re not going to download your brain into a robot. The service, called Eterni.me, has “designed a way to digitally reconstruct a person’s personality after they die” from their online communication.
The website explains:
“Eterni.me collects almost everything that you create during your lifetime, and processes this huge amount of information using complex Artificial Intelligence algorithms … Then it generates a virtual YOU, an avatar that emulates your personality and can interact with, and offer information and advice to, your family and friends after you pass away. It’s like a Skype chat from the past.”
So basically you sign up and allow Eterni.me access to your online chat logs, social networking sites, email, photos, etc. Based upon those communications, it claims to be able to get inside your head and recreate your personality so your loved ones won’t miss you quite so much when you die.
Please tell me I’m not the only one with heebie jeebies just thinking about this. Death sucks, for sure, but don’t you think this is going to keep people from acceptance and moving on? It’s a digital shell of a human, not a real person. And I don’t care how smart computers are or how predictable people can be, there’s no way to know how someone will think and feel without them being there to think and feel it.
I think it’s better to live your life purposefully, so that your memory lives on long after you're gone. When my time is up, I’d rather my friends and family toast to a life well lived than hold onto some shallow AI shadow of my former self.
Would you like to be able to talk to digitally recreated loved ones that have passed on?
Image via Garrett Coakley/Flickr