A new start-up company, Eterni.me, is looking to create virtual avatars of people, and let them live beyond death in a virtual space.
The idea the company has is to go through your Facebook information and use it to create an avatar that thinks and acts like you would.
“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,” Eterni.me explains on their website.
Marius Ursache, who is the founder of the company, has had the idea for a while. It has been shaped and influenced by people like Ray Kurzweil, who is looking to transcend life and live forever, and fiction like the movie Her and the series Black Mirror.
“It all took shape after realizing a use which would actually be beneficial for people–beyond the obvious cool sci-fi effect,” Ursache said. “For us, the idea that we can preserve a part of ourselves beyond death, and that someday this will make possible to preserve the knowledge of entire generations of humanity, is a big enough dream.”
There’s still a lot to be done though, and for the moment the developers at Eterni.me are working on the artificial intelligence that would be needed for this project to work at all. It’s more than just collecting the data, though, according to Ursache.
“In order for this to be accurate, collecting the information is not enough–people will need to interact with the avatar periodically,” Ursache said,” to help it make sense of the information, and to fine-tune it, to make it more accurate.”
Optimistically, the team wants to have a beta version of this ready for 2015.