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The Immortality of Artificial Intelligence

The Immortality of Artificial Intelligence

By Susan Williams

What I’m about to share is not out of a science fiction novel – it’s actually something people are working on today.

The world of artificial intelligence (AI) is exploring ways to immortalize our memories for future generations.

For example, in one AI application, you would be able to answer questions from your family through a form of an avatar after you’re gone.

In an article entitled, Disrupting death: Technologists explore ways to digitize life, this was just one of the technologies being explored for humanity’s use after someone passes. According to the post there is a new application being developed called Augmented Eternity. This program would have the capability to;

“…communicate memories of your life and answer questions on certain topics, such as your political views, depending on what information is stored in your data.”

But it gets even more interesting, another organization was looking at ways to upload your brain content to the cloud. Mind you, they hit a roadblock when they announced that the person would have to be euthanized in order for this to actually work.

So in the world of technology, just when you think you have finally unplugged, turns out you haven’t.

What do you think? Do you like the idea of being uploaded after you’re gone to answer questions?

For me, I can see there being some value in my family having access to my memories when I’m no longer here. Sort of like replacing “Hey Google” or “Alexa” with “Hey Mom“. I can just imagine being “beamed up” to join the family for special occasions.

What was our family history for disease, what were some of our family traditions, what were my favourite recipes all stored in some database somewhere all available to be served up in an avatar of my choosing (of course my vanity would probably have me choose an avatar image from my 20’s).

This is a little like a home genetic DNA test result – but I think it does become much more personal. Unlike our DNA, our memories are not what we are born with, it’s something that we have actually created.

My major concern is how this data would be stored and accessed. Depending on what is captured, I wonder if this information could possibly be mined to be used in a negative way against future generations.

For example, DNA genetic testing home test results are currently protected by privacy laws however there are risks that this could potentially change. Insurance companies are already starting to question if someone knows their risks as a result of these tests whether these should be reported on their application.

I envision the capturing of this personal data in some ways similar to documenting things in a diary. Depending on what you write in your diary this could be something you don’t mind future generations reading about or not. But I think again it comes back to an individual’s choice and the conditions it’s shared.

However, that other idea about my brain being uploaded to the cloud really freaks me out. Heaven knows what may be stored in my mind. I think this idea blurs so many ethical lines of what needs to be protected that it should be pushed back – and hard.

One thing is for sure. Technology continues to expand and invade areas that we never thought it would. This used to be the stuff that only science fiction was made of. Let’s all just hope we don’t have to call Obi-Wan Kanobe!

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.