People are convinced that sooner or later science will be able to give a person, if not eternal, then a very long life. Research in this area poses several objectives, the main of which are understanding the nature of aging and slowing down the corresponding processes. At the same time, a direction is developing that is capable of giving eternal life to each of us right now. Extending our existence in the digital world after physical death.

Virtual cemeteries on social networks are the norm, the administration even marks "gravestones"

Let's talk about what chatbots based on the accounts of deceased people are and how the attitude towards such a delicate and not entirely pleasant topic is changing in the modern world thanks to high technologies.

Notifications on VKontakte or Facebook that some of your friends are celebrating their birthday are very convenient - in the modern hustle and bustle, this allows you not to forget about important dates. However, when a social network offers to congratulate a person who has already died, it looks creepy. According to calculations, already in 2065, the number of accounts with dead people on Facebook will exceed the number of pages with living people.

The secret of eternal life: why people need digital immortality
Photo: Depositphotos

It is not surprising that large social networks a few years ago began to think about what to do with the accounts of deceased users. For example, VKontakte decided to mark such pages as follows: instead of the date of the last visit to the resource, VKontakte users see the inscription “Page of a deceased person” in the profiles of the deceased. But Twitter blocks such accounts if relatives provide a death certificate.

Facebook decided to go even further and created the Tributes virtual graveyard. Indeed, why to consign to oblivion those who are not with us - it is better to organically fit them into the world of the living, albeit in digital form. As of 2019, Facebook had over 1.5 billion pages owned by the deceased. However, Facebook's generosity is built not only on good intentions: monthly pages of the deceased are viewed about 30 million times, and this is an additional monetization of the resource.

Microsoft in action: technology for creating chatbots from deceased people

Recently it became known that the IT giant Microsoft will patent a technology that allows the "to revive" the dead in the form of profiles in chatbots. The created bots will carry on correspondence with the interlocutors, and all the information about the deceased user collected during his lifetime will be used as a basis. Photos, videos, voice messages, publications, and emails.

In addition, Microsoft offers a service to create a chatbot while still alive in order to communicate with it. Thus, it will be possible to look at yourself from the outside and evaluate your electronic version, how much it corresponds to reality. Entertainment options are dark. For example, you can create a bot at the age of 25 and talk to it after 10-15-20 years to find out how much your own worldview, political views, etc. have changed.

The secret of eternal life: why people need digital immortality
Photo: Depositphotos

Microsoft also plans to provide tools for creating 2D and 3D models of chatbots based on photographs and videos of the deceased. In addition to "entertainment", virtually revived people can be useful for resolving legal issues. At least that's what the popular science resource Gizmodo thinks. .

Services that change attitudes towards death

The loss of a loved one or loved one is a great stress, serious emotional upheaval. For many, coping with loss is incredibly difficult, so startups began to appear in the world that partially solve this problem. While Microsoft is only patenting the technology for creating chat bots from the accounts of the deceased, many startups can already offer such an experience.

MyWishes

A service developed by specialists from the UK, which allows you to maintain pages of deceased people in popular social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google , Instagram and LinkedIn. The only caveat is that the resource itself does not generate posts, it only allows you to release posts previously prepared by the user with some frequency. For example, a goodbye video, a reminder for your significant other about your wedding anniversary, birthday greetings, etc. The page of a person is activated after death by his authorized representative, and the lifetime of the account does not exceed 100 years.

Everplans

One of the best solutions for those who always prefer to stick to a plan, even after death. The resource offers a wide range of tools for preparing for death: insurance, wills, medical documents, and even a choice of clothes for a funeral. Just imagine how many problems the service can solve, freeing the relatives and friends of the deceased from the headaches associated with putting all documents in order, resolving all kinds of disagreements.

Replicas

You already understood that there are a lot of sites and resources related to extending the lives of the dead in digital form, so let's talk about the latter in the framework of today's article.

This is not really a service related to the topic of the material. Replika still allows you to communicate with the deceased - though first you need to "upload" it to the network. Replika is a tool for creating a virtual interlocutor, an AI companion who “cares” (as they say on the site). Obviously, you can create a comrade for communication and based on data about the deceased, and you can communicate with him in both text and voice formats. And no, this is not an analog of Siri, Google Assistant or Alice - Replika does not search for information on the Internet and does not know how to call a taxi. This virtual interlocutor can only chat heart to heart.

Illusion of control

The secret of eternal life: why people need digital immortality
Photo: Depositphotos

It is foolish to argue that technology is changing us beyond recognition. Over the past decades, medicine and pharmaceuticals have reached a completely different level, and high-tech developments allow you to get rid of many of the imperfections of our body. However, the main thing is that living in the era of the digital revolution, we leave a huge number of traces of intellectual activity on the Internet. Perhaps even more than in real life.

Every byte of data we leave on the network, every new technology - all this creates the illusion that we are in control of death. But this is just an illusion - if we ever manage to upload a person's consciousness to the World Wide Web, it will still not be him, but his copy: a very exact digital copy...