General, Research, Technology

Is digital immortality possible and is it necessary

In 2016, Chang Ji-sen's youngest daughter Nayondied of a blood-related disease. But in February, a mother reunited with her daughter in virtual reality. Experts modeled an electronic version of her child using motion capture technology for the documentary. Wearing a VR headset and tactile gloves, Jang could walk, talk and play with this digital version of her daughter. You can understand a desperate mother, but in reality it is even a little creepy. Is this really our future? Will our descendants really want to communicate with us in this way? We won't care. Or won't it? Let's figure it out.

Will a person ever be able to become immortal due to digital technologies? I do not believe in this. And you?


  • 1 Can immortality exist
  • 2 Immortality in the chatbot
  • 3 Is it possible to digitize a person
  • 4 Creating a robotic copy of a human

Can immortality exist

Immortality was once science fiction, andpeople did not even think about it - it was not before. Now, we live in a relatively calm world and one can think about such things. More and more people are now interested in immortality - whether it be the physical immortality of body and mind or simply creating a living memorial such as AI version of the robot or a chatbot with its habits. The question is, should we do this? And if so, how should it look?

It all started with cryonics when people startedthink they can freeze their body and then defrost it after 300 years to see what will happen there. Only with whom there to communicate and what to do to such a “fossil” in such a rapidly changing world, few people cared. They were just excited by the idea itself. Although until now no one knows how to unfreeze those who have been frozen.

Add fuel to research likewhich was published in the magazine PLOS ONE. It said that it is possible to act with chemical or electrical probes on the human brain and to some extent it will start working again.

It's too sad to be immortal.
The same faces day after day
Same stupid answers
To the question "why do we live?"
Group Aria, song Vicious Circle.

Here it is worth sharing the two goals of achievingimmortality. In one case, the person himself wants to be immortal and live forever, or just wake up after many years to look at the future. In the second case, the relatives of the person who died want immortality. They want to somehow communicate with him. But one must understand that it will still not be him, but only a computer model that will deceive feelings and memory. In the first case, it will most likely be about real physical immortality, and in the second, only virtual.

Here he is immortal, if you remember this. Although, he was in charge.

Immortality in the chatbot

In 2015, Evgeniya Kuida, co-founder andCEO of software company Replika, lost her best friend Roman after he was hit by a car in Moscow. Upset at the loss of a loved one, she taught the chatbot thousands of text messages... Over the years of her acquaintance, Evgenia exchanged these messages with Roman. So she created a digital copy of it that could still “talk” with family and friends.

Evgenia and Roman.

The first time she contacted a bot, shewas surprised at how close she felt that she was talking to her friend again. “It was very emotional,” she said. "I didn't expect that feeling because I was working on this chatbot, I knew how it was built." It turns out that the machine simply tricked her brain and feelings, forcing her to think out reality.

Immortal trees may suffer from stress

Nevertheless, Evgenia understands that to create such a copy for mass use unrealistic... Each person communicates differently with friends,colleagues, relatives and so on. People appreciate exactly how the deceased communicated with them, and the model based on communication with another person may disappoint them or they may simply not recognize the person.

Perhaps what happened sounded familiar. If yes, then you may have seen this in the TV series "Black Mirror". One of the episodes tells the story of a young woman whose boyfriend died in a car accident. In mourning, she signs up for a service that allows her to communicate with his version of AI, based on his past online communications and social media profiles.

Does someone need such communication forever? Or is it better not for long, but for real - the way nature is inherent in us?

Another problem with created copies is thatthey allow you to “communicate” only with the person who was then. He will not develop and change with you, and we value our friends precisely for how we develop and change together with them, while remaining close to each other.

Is it possible to digitize a person

Another option remains - create a full-fledged digital copy of a person... Perhaps even during his lifetime. Evgenia agrees that this is only partially possible. That is, you can create a complete virtual copy of a person, which will also look and move. However, it is still impossible to create a copy of his mind and emotions.

Again, let's say we create such a copy, butit will be somewhere on a social network or just in the cloud. Then the company that supports the technology goes bankrupt and closes. Where will the created image go and then how can I access it? Take the history of a computer that Tim Berners Lee used to create HTML on the internet - the machine exists, but nobody knows the password.

Are we all immortal?

One of the most scientific concepts in the fieldThe digitization of death came from Nectome, a Y Combinator startup. He suggests preserving the brain for further memory retrieval through a high-tech embalming process. The catch is that the brain must be "fresh". Simply put, a person must be specially killed for this.

Something can be taken from the brain and turned into "zeros and ones", but certainly not the individual and its development.

Nectome planned to experiment withterminally ill volunteers in California, as such experiments and euthanasia are allowed there. The startup collected the necessary investments and recruited not only a base of volunteers, but also those who are ready to then test the technology on themselves when it works. It is reported that there were 25 such applicants. The startup has raised $ 1 million in funding along with a large federal grant. But Nectome does not respond to requests from journalists about the course of the experiment, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology refused to participate in the study.

Neuroscience has not advanced to the extentso that we can tell if any method of brain preservation is effective enough to preserve different kinds of biomolecules associated with memory and mind - MIT said in a statement... - It is also unknown whether it is possible to recreate human consciousness.

There is another project called Augmented Eternity by FlyBits, which aims to help people live digitally for the sake of transferring knowledge to future generations.

Millennials are creating gigabytes of data every day, and we have reached a level of maturity where we can actually create digital versions of ourselves, ”said Hossein Rahnama, founder and CEO of FlyBits.

Augmented eternity takes your digital footprints - emails, photos, actions insocial networks - and transfers them to the machine learning engine. That in turn analyzes how people think and act in order to give you a digital copy of the studied person. Rahnama claims that such a person can even be contacted as a voice assistant or even an anthropomorphic robot.

The team is currently building a prototype whileRahnama says that instead of asking Siri questions, you can ask your colleague or just a smart person who understands this.

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Making a robotic copy of a human

Many have heard of how the robotics laboratory at Osaka University in Japan Hiroshi Ishiguro created over 30 realistic androids - includingits robotic version. He pioneered research on human-robot interaction, studying the importance of things like facial expressions - the subtle movements of the eyes, lips and facial expressions.

Ishiguro's most famous robot is his own copy.

My main goal is to understandwhat is a human being by creating a very human-like robot, ”Ishiguro said. “We can improve the algorithm to make it even more human-like, but for that we need to find some important human traits.

Ishiguro said that if he dies, his robotwill be able to continue lecturing to students in his place. However, according to him, he will never become one and will not be able to put forward new ideas. This is what you need to understand.

Robot Code of Ethics: Is this Possible?

You can share memory with the robot and he will say: "I am Hiroshi Ishiguro." But that’s where it’s over. He will not develop as a person, since every day certain events change the vector of our development and no AI alone will be able to simulate this. You can even safely say that never.

It has started raining and you went to the store to hide from it. There they saw a magazine about science and decided to become a researcher. Or you missed the bus at a bus stop and met a person who interested you in studying geography. The machine is not capable of this.

This is also Ishiguro's brainchild.

Ishiguro believes that very soon we will havea brain-computer interface will appear, which will erase the line between us and robots. It will not be clear where the memory is stored, but at the same time we will be able to share it. But again, this will not be development and communication with such a robot after the death of its "source" (read for such a comparison) will quickly get bored, since communication is an exchange of information. It must be constantly updated, otherwise it will quickly get bored. If you agree with this, please express yourself in our Telegram chat.

Biologists discover the first immortal creature

People developed thanks to biologicalthe principle is the survival of the fittest. But today we have the technology that allows us to improve our genes ourselves and develop robots similar to humans. Maybe this is our evolution? Or, on the contrary, is it her dead end?

If the first, then we can design our ownthe future themselves, but the future is just a little scary, in which all people will become just a computer program. It turns out that a group of system administrators will have to exist and be constantly updated (multiplied)? Will they be gods or slaves who ensure digital well-being and immortality for others? Why then can't they just erase all the files and get on with their lives? So many questions and so few answers ...