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Startup Out of MIT Promises Digital Afterlife — Just Hand Over Your Data 241

Posted by timothy
from the ashes-to-ashes-dust-to-nsa dept.
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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Startup Out of MIT Promises Digital Afterlife — Just Hand Over Your Data

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  • No. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Thursday January 30, 2014 @04:51PM (#46113883) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by Calavar (1587721) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @04:58PM (#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.
  • Dixie Flatline (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SpectreBlofeld (886224) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @05:09PM (#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

  • All that data (Score:3, Interesting)

    by laie_techie (883464) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @05:28PM (#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?

  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Thursday January 30, 2014 @06:15PM (#46114873) Homepage
    "Honey? Your dad's on the phone again. He wants you to switch to a new insurance carrier, and hire someone to have the carpets cleaned."
  • Re:No. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @07:30PM (#46115577)

    Well if you do it right and use brain state rather than just tweets and facebook posts, then you don't need to greive at all, because you'd still be alive, and your consciousness would be housed in a silicon brain rather than a meat brain.

    And how exactly would you be transferring said "consciousness" into that silicon brain? A copy of a brain and it's mind is not the original consciousness. And even if in some fantasy a consciousness generator (BEC or somesuch) were inlined into the system it still would not be the original persons consciousness, merely another one with the same memories etc. The original person, consciousness, would still be dead or whatever and you'd be living with a lie, which granted is enough for most people..

A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of nothing. -- Alan Perlis

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