- June 8, 2023
- Posted by: Admin
- Category: Artificial Intelligence, Technology
What is Digital Immortality And How Does it Work?
Ever thought of a person’s digital avatar continuing to evolve as its own even after his/her death? Wondering if there is a way you can interact with your dear ones even after they passed away? The chances are that this might be highly possible in the near future with the help of Digital immortality.
In this article, we will be discussing in detail what digital immortality is, how it works, and its advantages and disadvantages to society.
What is digital immortality?
Digital immortality can be referred to as giving life to an individual or his identity in the digital space after their lifespan expired. It’s more like training a model to behave and respond like the same expired person. As people develop online identities, digital immortality helps develop their digital presence even after their death. Digital immortality has always been a subject of conflict for both humans and science. But still, the possibilities of achieving digital immortality have grown significantly high. Researchers and entrepreneurs are on the verge to discover how humans can be made immortals. The most recent technological advancements in Artificial Intelligence, Generative AI, biotechnology, and robotics are fuelling this research. However, it is still in the research phase and experts predict that it can be made possible in the coming years.
How does digital immortality work?
Even though digital immortality is still in a speculative stage, theoretically it is found that digital immortality can be attained through 4 major approaches. They are Mind uploading, Whole brain emulation, Substrate Independent Minds, and Neural interface. As it is still in the nascent stage, there are no particular devices or technology available yet to perform these tasks. Anyhow, aggressive research is still being conducted on this. Let’s have a look into these approaches:
- Mind Uploading
Mind uploading refers to understanding every minute working aspect of the biological human brain and mapping it to digital brains. This way the thoughts, memories, emotions, etc. can be mapped to digital space. The brain can be implanted with neuro-nanorobots to reach digital immortality. When this technology is fully developed, it may be possible to constantly store many backup copies of the brain in the cloud.
- Whole Brain Emulation
Whole Brain Emulation is a process where technology is made used to design and replicate the exact human brain and its neural functionalities within the computer. By doing so, it is believed that the replicated brain will perform the exact way how the biological brain performs, but as a digital version of it. It could be projected from the computer in the future as a hologram or in a solid three-dimensional structure as a robot that can communicate with humans.
- Substrate- Independent Minds
In this approach, it is stated that consciousness is independent of substrates. This means that consciousness does not need to be a biological brain, but rather can exist in digital forms as well. It also states that consciousness can be transferred across different mediums- biological, digital, etc. hence the term Substrate- independent minds.
- Neural Interface
Designing neural interfaces that connect human brains with computers is another approach to developing digital immortality. Neural interface devices collect and process data from biological brains and map it to digital devices.
Impacts of digital immortality on Society
Digital Immortality will have a significant impact on our society. It will come with its own advantages and disadvantages. Let us understand them in detail
Advantages of Digital Immortality
Digital Immortality helps accumulate individual knowledge and wisdom they have gained over the years. The availability of this information and knowledge can be accessed by the upcoming generations and help them accordingly.
Extended Digital Life Span
Individuals can enhance their digital life spans by undergoing digital immortality. This can lead to continued learning that can satisfy the quest for personal growth over time.
The data from digital brains and integrating it with the latest technologies like, AI, virtual reality, mixed reality, etc. can lead to potential digital discoveries mankind has never witnessed.
Digital immortality can help people maintain emotional bonding by interacting digitally with their physically departed dear ones. This can help them with solid emotional support at the times they need it the most.
Disadvantages of Digital Immortality
Digital Immortality can lead to many social issues in the future. One of them is social instability. The entire process of attaining digital immortality will be costly and this will create a new class divide between the wealthy and others.
Lack of interpersonal Connection
With digital immortality, users will be interacting with the digital version of human beings. This will certainly lack the look and feel of interacting with a real human being. This in turn affects interpersonal interactions and lacks a human touch in the conversation.
With every new technology, comes potential vulnerabilities. And digital immortality will be no exception. This can also lead to data privacy, data breach, and other cybersecurity attacks.
Companies Providing Immortality As a Service
The best digital transformation companies in the USA and other parts of the globe are working towards making digital immortality a reality. Here is a list of a few popular companies.
Eter9, a Silicon Valley company, is helping people to share their most important thoughts, stories, and memories in an artificially intelligent enables system. This can communicate with other users once the creator’s lifespan gets over. Eter9 also allows users to create a list of people who will grant access to their accounts during their death, and providing with quick and easy access to their social media accounts. Another popular company is Elon Musk’s Neuralink. It is a startup focused on brain-machine interfaces and is working on various sets of research to make digital immortality a reality
Digital immortality is still in its infancy stage. However, it’s a domain that’s equally interesting and challenging. Also, it comes with a number of potential pros and cons. Institutions are spending millions of dollars on research. Its potential is yet to be discovered fully and only time can let us make aware of it.