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Startup Out of MIT Promises Digital Afterlife — Just Hand Over Your Data

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the ashes-to-ashes-dust-to-nsa dept.

Social Networks 241

v3rgEz writes "A new startup out of MIT offers early adopters a chance at the afterlife, of sorts: It promises to build an AI representation of the dearly departed based on chat logs, email, Facebook, and other digital exhaust generated over the years. "Eterni.me 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," the team promises. But can a chat bot plus big data really produce anything beyond a creepy, awkward facsimile?"

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241 comments

No. (4, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 6 months ago | (#46113883)

But can a chat bot plus big data really produce anything beyond a creepy, awkward facsimile?"

No, it cannot. Once you're dead, you're dead. Game over.

Re:No. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46113987)

But can a chat bot plus big data really produce anything beyond a creepy, awkward facsimile?"

No, it cannot. Once you're dead, you're dead. Game over.

True that. I doubt any software can truly emulate the nuance of human personality based solely on pictures and tweets.

Re:No. (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#46114093)

I don't know... most of the people I know that use Twitter and Facebook heavily have slightly less personality than most software.

Re:No. (5, Funny)

jdbuz (962721) | about 6 months ago | (#46114469)

I just want it to keep updating my FB status with predetermined posts such as, "Wow! Who knew they had free Wi-Fi up here?"

Re:No. (5, Insightful)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 6 months ago | (#46114125)

No, it cannot. Once you're dead, you're dead. Game over.

True that. I doubt any software can truly emulate the nuance of human personality based solely on pictures and tweets.

Actually it is worse than that. People should learn to grieve and then go on with their lives. A bot would only hinder this necessary mental healing process.

who are you calling a "facsimile"?!! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114149)

I don't know, "creepy" and "awkward" gets you 97% there for most of this audience.

Re:No. (1)

Megol (3135005) | about 6 months ago | (#46114007)

This idea can't make anyone immortal, right. But there are uses to something like this IFF the simulation is good enough. The problem is that we still can't create intelligent programs and until we can the result of something like this can only be a slightly tasteless version of Eliza.

WRONG!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114083)

Yes it can. It's already been done. What do you think the whole fucking point of POSIX specification is?

Awkward and Creepy? (4, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 months ago | (#46114179)

Well, at least they can recreate the readership of /.

Re:Awkward and Creepy? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 6 months ago | (#46114213)

Well, at least they can recreate the readership of /.

An argument has been made (by both myself and others) that at least one slashdot user is a script already. Not necessarily an intelligent one, but a script nonetheless.

Re:Awkward and Creepy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114351)

I don't know, I'm pretty sure my friend the fake liberal (damn_registrars) could be replaced pretty easily by a script since his parody of people like Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz is so spot on.

In fact, I might be tempted to see if I can do it in 100 lines or less of LISP.

(Since my friend the fake liberal (damn_registrars) speaks with a lisp, you know, as a tribute to the greatness that is the sock puppet master, and my new best friend, the fake liberal damn_registrars.

Re:Awkward and Creepy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114707)

If you count the AC that occasionally posts markov-chained "BSD is dying"-style stuff with occasional links to shock sites, I'm with you. If you don't... I'm still with you.

Re:Awkward and Creepy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114227)

Not really. The /. leadership isn't dead, it's just stupid.

Re:No. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 6 months ago | (#46114193)

But can a chat bot plus big data really produce anything beyond a creepy, awkward facsimile?"

No, it cannot. Once you're dead, you're dead. Game over.

Well, assume they could make a perfect clone, the original you would still be dead and that's what we fear the most in this, some construct which believes it's me also, doesn't have the continuity.

Besides, I don't think I'd be a happy clone/chatbot going around with a patent number on my arse.

Of course it can! (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | about 6 months ago | (#46114583)

Of course it can! Why the resistance? Human-level AI will exist by the time young people reading this are dead. Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into The Future was, more or less, right.

Re:No. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114585)

Sorry, but this answer is not sufficiently cyberpunk. Clearly you need to rewatch Serial Experiments Lain.

All of this has happened before... (1)

heezer7 (708308) | about 6 months ago | (#46113893)

and will happen again.

Re:All of this has happened before... (5, Informative)

randomhacks (3420197) | about 6 months ago | (#46113949)

You're right. Channel 4 (UK) Black Mirror - Episode 1: "Martha and Ash are a young couple who move to a remote cottage. The day after the move, Ash is killed, returning the hire van. At the funeral, Martha's friend Sarah tells her about a new service that lets people stay in touch with the deceased. By using all his past online communications and social media profiles, a new 'Ash' can be created. Martha is disgusted by the concept but then in a confused and lonely state she decides to talk to 'him'..." Definitively worth watching.

Re:All of this has happened before... (1)

gnick (1211984) | about 6 months ago | (#46113973)

So say we all.

Re:All of this has happened before... (1)

JeremyWH (1354361) | about 6 months ago | (#46114077)

Yup, I'm booking my ticket to Earth ASAP! , o wait..

Re:All of this has happened before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114241)

It's okay, Syfy pulled the plug. It'll never happen again. Cycle broken.

Re:All of this has happened before... (3, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 6 months ago | (#46114287)

I seem to recall a similar situation when someone tried creating such an avatar back on Caprica.

PRON!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46113913)

The real question is... will it continue to search for the degraded and twisted pron I so enjoy?

Re:PRON!! (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#46114109)

Not even a robot will want to want C-SPAN

Serial Experiment Lain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46113919)

Seems like the plot of a Japanese scifi....

Re:Serial Experiment Lain? (1)

gnick (1211984) | about 6 months ago | (#46114127)

No. It [wikipedia.org] wasn't Japanese.

Re:Serial Experiment Lain? (0)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 6 months ago | (#46114173)

Re:Serial Experiment Lain? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114251)

thanks for googling for us the literal name of some obscure shit you were thinking about that nobody else gave a rat's ass about instead of direct linking it like a non-fucktard

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_Experiments_Lain

direct link for people who don't want to sit through shitty animation to see what terrible animu this neckbeard thinks we should all be aware of

Re:Serial Experiment Lain? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114381)

lol, it seems somebody got butt-hurted

the anime is nice, though

Sirius Cybernetics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46113921)

WIth a real live person personality?

Black Mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46113935)

Season 2 Episode 1

Caprica (3, Informative)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 6 months ago | (#46114303)

Entire series.

Arnold Rimmer sir... (2)

ravenscar (1662985) | about 6 months ago | (#46113939)

Reporting for duty.

"Smoke me a kipper. I'll be back for breakfast."

Re:Arnold Rimmer sir... (1)

gnick (1211984) | about 6 months ago | (#46113995)

Gods help us if Holly decides to bring Arnie back...

Re:Arnold Rimmer sir... (1)

Bradmont (513167) | about 6 months ago | (#46114295)

He's Arnold, Arnold, Arnold Rimmer
Without him life would be much grimmer...

Yikes (5, Insightful)

Bovius (1243040) | about 6 months ago | (#46113947)

Holy balls that is creepy. At best, this would really weird people out who knew the dearly departed. At worst, it would provide a hook for traumatized loved ones to avoid dealing with the grief and get increasingly bottled up in a fantasy world.

It is difficult for me to imagine ways in which this would be a good thing.

Re:Yikes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114229)

Holy balls that is creepy. At best, this would really weird people out who knew the dearly departed. At worst, it would provide a hook for traumatized loved ones to avoid dealing with the grief and get increasingly bottled up in a fantasy world.

It is difficult for me to imagine ways in which this would be a good thing.

That's the worst you can think of? Can you imagine these bastard avatars being used to advertise shite? Cause I can.

Re:Yikes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114249)

Apparently I'll be providing technical support, product suggestions, and torrents for my friends and family for quite some time after I'm gone.
^^;

Re:Yikes (1)

Dynedain (141758) | about 6 months ago | (#46114291)

I can think of a lot creepier uses than you suggest as the worst... but I can think of some good ones as well.

Is there a famous personality from history you'd love to have a conversation with? Einstein, Churchill, religious figure, celebrity?

Re:Yikes (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 6 months ago | (#46114347)

it would provide a hook for traumatized loved ones to avoid dealing with the grief and get increasingly bottled up in a fantasy world.

Joseph Adama in Caprica was creepily portrayed as having done just that with his dead daughter, with rather disturbing results.

Before death? (5, Funny)

WPIDalamar (122110) | about 6 months ago | (#46113951)

Can I get this before I die? I hate talking with people sometimes.

Re:Before death? (1)

Jack_of_Shadow (952121) | about 6 months ago | (#46114147)

Me too! I want this to remind me of the me I was before the me I become... Because my 27 year old me was invincible, while the 54 year old me is clearly not!

Re:Before death? (1)

Tom (822) | about 6 months ago | (#46114163)

Yes, please.

I was about to post something scathing to the effect of "that is the LAST thing I want happening to me afterwards", but yeah, if this can handle all that Facebook crap for me...

Re:Before death? (4, Funny)

Ichijo (607641) | about 6 months ago | (#46114243)

A chatty avatar version of me that keeps people on the phone as long as possible without committing to anything would be a great way to get telemarketers to stop calling. Maybe even better than Lenny [itslenny.com] . As a bonus, it would be seamless: just push a button in the middle of a conversation and the avatar would take over without the caller knowing.

MIT, please make it happen.

Re:Before death? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114297)

Seriously, I think this would be able to attend like 90% of my meetings in my place.
"That's a stupid idea. It'll never work."
"The IT department will need another $10,000 in its budget this month if you want it to work that way."
"I know those things aren't working now, that's because you went with the vendor that I told you not to go with."
"Good one, Bob, remind me that I owe you lunch for that thing about the sports game last weekend."
"No, I'm not serious about lunch, but I am serious about the ten grand."
"Alright, well we'll just have to see how this works out with the status quo."

Now that I think about it, I think 100% of my meetings can use this exact same script. It's pretty scary.

Caprica? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46113959)

Wasn't this the exact plot of the Battlestar Galactica spinoff: Caprica ? Not giving points for originality here.

Then again, good for them if they can actually manage this.

The scariest thing about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46113961)

.... is not that someone's selling it - it's that someone will actually buy into it.

I notice a distinct lack of timeline on this... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 6 months ago | (#46113965)

They "promise" to do it... but they don't promise when.

This may be possible someday, but not yet.

Of course, if they do it too well, it may cause psychological trauma for some people who won't accept that the person they cared about is really dead.

Re:I notice a distinct lack of timeline on this... (2)

leftover (210560) | about 6 months ago | (#46114317)

1. Sell empty promises now.
2. Wait for your "customers" to die.
3. No 'Profit!' because you bolted with the money during Step 2.

Look for them to avoid any preview of the avatar,

Black Mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46113977)

You heard it first on Black Mirror, folks.

Online and RL personalities are different (4, Interesting)

Calavar (1587721) | about 6 months ago | (#46113981)

Even if these guys could make an AI algorithm that is 100% accurate if given the correct input, internet posts are not the best seed data. People tend to be dicks on the internet. I'm pretty sure most people would not like to interact with the online versions of their departed loved ones.

Re:Online and RL personalities are different (1)

Calavar (1587721) | about 6 months ago | (#46114003)

Or, to put it another way: would your wife want to sift through thousands of your work emails and memos? Probably not. So why would she want to talk to a chatbot that is trained on your work emails?

Re:Online and RL personalities are different (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 6 months ago | (#46114115)

I'm inclined to think that in general, people who act like dicks on the internet are actually dicks in real life who at best, possibly for reasons of conformity, may just be curbing their tendency towards being a dick around people they meet in real life to avoid the potential social and cultural complications. That doesn't mean that's who they really are, however.

Re:Online and RL personalities are different (1)

Calavar (1587721) | about 6 months ago | (#46114613)

I think you're talking talking about closet racists and internet trolls and similar folks, and when it comes to those people, I completely agree. But even for your average Joe who loves his kids, and and is steadfastly loyal to his buddies, the internet is an entirely different setting. It's tone deaf for one, so a comment could be completely innocuous or scathingly sarcastic depending on how you read it. Since humans often have trouble telling the difference, an AI algorithm that perfectly mimics humans will have trouble. Second, suppose you're having a conversation with a person and he says something amazingly stupid or uninformed. Do you call him a moron? No, of course not. Not even if the conversation is in a private place and no one else will know what you said. Because you empathize with the other guy to an extent. But if you have an anonymous internet post that says something equally stupid, all the sudden the human element is removed. You are just staring at a sack of words and it makes you angry. This is why we have flamewars on every forum in the internet, not just stormfront.org.

First cryo, now this.... (1)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | about 6 months ago | (#46113997)

This is kind of terrible. Capitalizing on people's loss by selling them a pie in the sky dream. I admire the ambition, but I would think we would need to create an AI that can sufficiently pass the Turing test before we create one that represents a person's personality well enough to fool the person's closest family/friends.

Just like the Vu-Age church! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46113999)

From the Max Headroom episode Deities [youtube.com] .

This sounds familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114031)

I think someone fell asleep watching Caprica reruns a few too many times...

Caprica? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114033)

Did nobody there see Caprica? This will not end well...

I'm all in (1)

twistofsin (718250) | about 6 months ago | (#46114049)

As long as Jimmy the Saint is doing the sales.

Re:I'm all in (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 6 months ago | (#46114187)

Nah.... all he does is sit on the hood telling racing stories.

Interesting. (5, Funny)

Eric S. Smith (162) | about 6 months ago | (#46114053)

Tell me more about can a chat bot plus big data really produce anything beyond a creepy, awkward facsimile?

Re:Interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114339)

Moderators: This is a rather obscure reference to the Eliza "simulated therapist" program. It is funnier than currently modded. :)

I would need to sign up for Facebook first. (1)

toonces33 (841696) | about 6 months ago | (#46114057)

so that's a deal killer right there.

If I were to sign up for Facebook, and then do nothing more than post cat pictures, what kind of digital afterlife would I end up with, anyways?

Caprica (5, Insightful)

stewsters (1406737) | about 6 months ago | (#46114061)

Caprica. Watch it. Doesn't end well.

Re:Caprica (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114259)

The last season got it cancelled because it was becoming terrible. So you're right, it doesn't end well.

Re:Caprica (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114545)

That's backwards. Caprica started off really slowly - interesting characters, mixed into a hard-to-follow, glacially developing storyline. But it was getting better - some of their best episodes were aired after they were cancelled.

Re:Caprica (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#46114283)

They find Earth in the end.

And why would I care? (2)

holophrastic (221104) | about 6 months ago | (#46114081)

So I'm dead. Why do I care about this? And why would I choose to spend money on it now?
And what if I want to retain my own intellectual property when I'm dead? Can I install a web-server in my tomb-stone to host this thing?

Oh wait, there is no tomb-stone -- again, because I'm dead so why would I want one?
Hey look! It's another service to rape and impoverish people who have zero self-esteem in the first place!

Don't worry. You can suck in this life. In your afterlife, you'll be wise and useful.
Hey look! It's another religious promise!

Last I checked, a facsimile after death is called a zombie.

Should sell it to the mob (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114087)

They could disappear people and have people interact with their replicant online like nothing happened.

"Black Mirror" episode (5, Informative)

MDMurphy (208495) | about 6 months ago | (#46114097)

This is the basis of S02E01 of "Black Mirror"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

The episode did a pretty good representation of the idea, showing things that the the dearly departed's avatar would know and not know based on their chat and email history.

Sounds like Harry Potter (2)

CatsupBoy (825578) | about 6 months ago | (#46114099)

Really reminds me of that moment where harry potter talks to his loved ones before going to die in the woods (sorry for crappy ref, i'm not a huge potter buf). He isnt really experiencing something new with them hes just talking with them and they are giving him reassurance.

On the surface of course this sounds creepy, but its amazing how easy it is to comfort that "human" side of your brain. In a similar manner this would provide someone pretty much the same thing. You know, kinda like, if it sounds like joe, acts like joe, says something i think joe might say, then you can probably be reconnected in that small way, relieving your pain in a small way.

I think anything that has the potential to ease suffering probably has a future.

Yaaay for digital snake oil (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 6 months ago | (#46114103)

and postmodern spiritualism.

"We'll be happy to conduct a social media seance and allow you to contact your dearly departed. But first we'll need all that personal information."

Dixie Flatline (3, Interesting)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | about 6 months ago | (#46114141)

`How you doing, Dixie?'
    `I'm dead, Case. Got enough time in on this Hosaka to
figure that one.'
    `How's it feel?'
    `It doesn't.'
    `Bother you?'
    `What bothers me is, nothin'~ does.'
    `How's that?'
    `Had me this buddy in the Russian camp, Siberia, his thumb
was frostbit. Medics came by and they cut it off. Month later
he's tossin'~ all night. Elroy, I said, what's eatin'~ you? Goddam
thumb's itchin'~, he says. So I told him, scratch it. McCoy, he
says, it's the _other_ goddam thumb.' When the construct laughed,
it came through as something else, not laughter, but a stab of
cold down Case's spine. `Do me a favor, boy.'
    `What's that, Dix?'
    `This scam of yours, when it's over, you erase this goddam
thing.'

-Neuromancer

Re:Dixie Flatline (1)

kurobejin (232830) | about 6 months ago | (#46114679)

That's the first thing that came to mind for me as well....

Where have i seen this before? (2)

wed128 (722152) | about 6 months ago | (#46114143)

I'm sorry. My responses are limited. You must ask the right questions.

M I fucking T (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114151)

Did anything good ever come out of that overrated shitpot?

Bought Out (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 6 months ago | (#46114157)

Let's say that the best case scenario happens and they're actually able to do this. You've now got chat bots functioning as long-dead people chatting away with living people. So far so good. Of course, the technology to do this would be impressive and would attract the attention of "the big boys." How long before they get bought out by Facebook or Google (or some other company)? How much longer after that until the chat bots get monetized? Perhaps by increasing the likelihood that a chat bot would mention a specific brand name instead of a general product that the formerly living person was interested in or perhaps by just blurting out random product callouts. Even if the monetization doesn't happen, how long until the entire project is folded into some other group and the chat bots get shut down for good?

Even if they manage to do this, I don't see this lasting for long enough for many of the participants to actually die and be "resurrected" as chat bots.

TotalA (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#46114159)

What began as a conflict over the transfer of consciousness from flesh to machines escalated into a botnet which has decimated a million websites. Facebook and Twitter have all but exhausted the resources of the Internet in their struggle for domination. Both sides now crippled beyond repair, the remnants of their users continue to post on ravaged smartphones, their dumbassery fueled by over four thousand posts of total crap. Now this will go past their death. For each user, the only acceptable outcome is the complete creation of a creepy, awkward facsimile.

Why not just offer to maintain data forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114165)

And promise to offer the digital memories of people up as fodder for AI research into sociological groups of AI sometime in the future?
 
  Not sure I'm enthusiastic, I hate being monitored and/or tested and can't imagine that a virtual representation of me living under such conditions would be viable as a creation.

Yes, yes it can... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114171)

But can a chat bot plus big data really produce anything beyond a creepy, awkward facsimile?"

Uhhh, you've just described the userbase of /. I doubt anyone would notice...

Re:Yes, yes it can... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114395)

Your mom produced a creepy, awkward facsimile!

Make Porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114183)

Seriously, you want to live forever in digital form? Make porno.

I read this in Otherland (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 6 months ago | (#46114195)

Priority override: Tears of Ra

Jack McDevitt invented this already. (2)

sconeu (64226) | about 6 months ago | (#46114201)

The "avatars" in the Alex Benedict series.

Black mirror (1)

sugar and acid (88555) | about 6 months ago | (#46114209)

Charlie Brooker's excellent series "Black mirror". Had exactly this idea in the episode "Be right back".

A company that would take all the tweets, facebook etc as input and create a bot of the deceased personality that you would be able to text with. The story had a pregnant recent widow start talking to her "deceased" husband. To extend it to the logical conclusion the company had upgrades that went from texting, through to phone conversation if audio input was put in, to finally an android based on the person that was fully functional.

The theme was that this was a really bad idea. The imitation can only ever be a imitation, with massive parts of the more private hidden personality missing. And for the people that care the most about the person, something deep in the uncanny valley. All it could really do was draw out the grief process with false hope, and that can't be a healthy thing.

Public data enough in some cases. (1)

DdJ (10790) | about 6 months ago | (#46114255)

For some people, there's no need for any disclosure beyond what they've already done 100% publicly. I'm pretty sure I could whip up an RMSbot over a long weekend, for example.

Fascinating what can get funding (2)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#46114281)

This is, of course, utter nonsense. Not only is technology not advanced enough to do anything like this, the data required is unsuitable for the task for any but the most shallow individuals.

That even a nearly perfect simulacrum would not be you is obvious.

VirtualBox Humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114293)

I'll be more interested when they make a complete copy of my brain as it is and run me in a virtual machine.

Betterage Says (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114313)

No

(*Posted via MIT digital afterlife based on user past comment patterns)

Welcome to Life(TM) (1)

mistapotta (941143) | about 6 months ago | (#46114315)

Didn't Tom Scott [tomscott.com] already talk about this one?

All that data (3, Interesting)

laie_techie (883464) | about 6 months ago | (#46114327)

Do you trust any company with all the data it would take to train the AI? Do you trust the employees of that company not to read your emails and online posts and use it against you before you die? Do you trust their servers not to get hacked resulting in massive identity theft?

Be Right Back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114335)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2290780/

This is sad (2)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 6 months ago | (#46114343)

I just think this is sad. When I become worm food I hope people find solace in their memories of me, the good times we had together, the adventures we went on. My life is defined by what I do in meatspace, not what digital excrement is left over in cyberspace. So many people are living more and more of their lives online, if your legacy is chat logs and facebook posts god dammit did you really live? Facebook isn't you, it is a digital representation of what you want other people to think you are

Yea, that's how they cylons turned against us... (2)

CppDeveloper (829095) | about 6 months ago | (#46114411)

Or was I the only one that watched Caprica...

Black Mirror (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 6 months ago | (#46114441)

If you haven't seen it, I suggest you watch Black Mirror. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org] Season 2 Episode 1 is about exactly this concept, just much more extreme. That episode is seriously freaky and intelligent sci fi. The others are all excellent too and each is different from the rest.

Talking to Myself (1)

Aero77 (1242364) | about 6 months ago | (#46114451)

How many would get this now, to improve the quality of their conversations?

NSA (1)

SecretSquirrel33 (1857738) | about 6 months ago | (#46114487)

It is a front to the NSA.

Re:NSA (2)

DeadDecoy (877617) | about 6 months ago | (#46114703)

Great. The last thing I want is for the NSA to be spying on my virtual avatar self. He's probably out there in WoW planning some terrorist act.

Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114687)

AI is simply made up of algorithms, with inputs and outputs which are deterministic. The general public attributes magical properties to AI and think we're just about one step from having conscious machines ... but there is no evidence to support that. There are people in the field who think that consciousness and awareness will somehow magically emerge from adding enough complexity to a system ... but they're idealists, no different from someone who jumps off a cliff hoping god will catch them. As far as I know, there is no hint of anything resembling consciousness thats been created by AI researchers.

These researchers at MIT are pitching snake oil. They only thing they will be able to create after you die is a bot that mimics how you interface with twitter, facebook, etc. Perhaps they would also be able to infer attributes about you from those postings based on groupings of human personality traits, but those will have false positives, which will lead to interesting consequences. In general, systems which are running in high cost scenarios need to have very few errors, which means they have to be conservative. If they start making larger educated guesses about your personality they will be wrong some of the time, and this could potentially cause lots of emotional damage. This idea seems very irresponsible.

Why do we treat MIT and Stanford like they shit gold? Yes they produce lots of interesting ideas and technology, but we look to them as if they are producing prophets.

"How you doing, Dixie?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46114705)

"I'm dead, Case. Got enough time in on this Hosaka to figure that one."
      "How's it feel?"
      "It doesn't."
      "Bother you?"
      "What bothers me is, nothin' does."
      "How's that?"
      "Had me this buddy in the Russian camp, Siberia, his thumb was frostbit. Medics came by and they cut it off. Month later he's
tossin' all night. Elroy. I said, what's eatin' you? Goddam thumb's itchin', he says. So I told him, scratch it. McCoy, he says, it's the other goddam thumb." When the construct laughed, it came through as something else, not laughter, but a stab of cold down Case's spine. "Do me a favor, boy."
      "What's that, Dix?"
      "This scam of yours, when it's over, you erase this goddam thing."

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