Scott Adams: Digital Ghosts

A couple of years ago I imagined a sort of online immortality:

In twenty years, we’ll have AI’s (artificial intelligence). For a fee, mine will read those 16, 000 posts to get a feel for what I wrote about and linked to, picking up a sense of my interests and writing styles in the process.

It will have access to all the books in My Library Thing, my iTunes and iPhoto, flickr, YouTube, etc.

The AI will continuously scour the web of the future, snatching bits and pieces and posting them here. Surviving friends will be able to correspond with smays.com who/which will reply. You might find him/her/it more interesting. Certainly better informed.

There’s plenty of video and audio of smays.com and I fully expect my AI will be capable of reproducing an acceptable version. So you can talk or iChat with me as well.

Today the always brilliant Scott Adams takes the idea a bit further but the similiarities are hard to miss. Just sayin’

When your mortal body ends, you will have stored all the data you need to create your permanent digital ghost. As the technology in the cloud improves, so too does your ghost, learning to move more naturally, perhaps learning from videos it has of you, or even based on some type of profiling based on clues such as your level of testosterone (from face shape), and the types of sports you did in life. In a hundred years your digital ghost would be indistinguishable from a living human appearing on video or in a holographic projection.

Digital ghosts need to see their environment to interact properly. Phones will all have video “eyes” someday, as will most computers. The new Xbox Kinect has “eyes” that literally follow your movement around the room. You could install additional cameras in any room in which you wished to be visited by digital ghosts. The malicious ghosts might commandeer video cameras or your phone’s camera function. My point is that you are already surrounded by cameras attached to the Internet, and that trend will continue. Your ghost will be able to see most rooms in the world.

Digital ghosts could continue learning throughout their afterlives, by reading the news and following the Facebook pages of friends and family. The ghosts would also be free to make friends with other ghosts and live their lives independently. Ghosts could stay with the ghosts of their life partners forever, so long as that was specified in the will of both people.

“Virtual Immortality Made Easy”

Grannyfinal228x300Regular readers know  smays.com is all about getting those photos and home movies out of the closet and up on flickr and YouTube. I’ve even posted a time or two about digital immortality.

Scott Maentz and his wife are actually doing something about it. From their website: “Our mission at RememberGranny.com is to help technology challenged Baby Boomers create a legacy for future generations using today’s rich digital media and the latest Internet applications.”

RG.com has packages starting at just $99 but my favorite is the Complete Virtual Immortality Package ($499). Need some f2f help? Then you’ll want to consider the Virtual Immortality Mini-Vacation.

PS: I just went looking for some of my earlier posts where I talk about putting your life on line; paying flickr to keep your pix up forever and a day… and I can’t find them. Poor tagging. If anyone remembers some of these posts and happened to bookmark or link, drop me a line.

I’m closing in on 4,000 posts and it’s getting damned hard to find stuff.

Immortal Blog

I’m on track reach 4,000 posts by the end of the year. An average of 666 posts a year (yeah, I know). Let’s round it down to 600 and assume I can maintain that pace for the next 20 years. 12,000 additional entries for a grand total of 16,000.

Blogging really isn’t a numbers game for most of us. The point I want to make is the investment in time and energy.

I’ve mentioned a few times my interest in finding a way to keep smays.com “alive” after smays is not. I can leave some money to a friend and ask her to pay the hosting bills. But the blog would be dead for all practical purposes.

But maybe not.

In twenty years, we’ll have AI’s (artificial intelligence). For a fee, mine will read those 16, 000 posts to get a feel for what I wrote about and linked to, picking up a sense of my interests and writing styles in the process.

It will have access to all the books in My Library Thing, my iTunes and iPhoto, flickr, YouTube, etc.

The AI will continuously scour the web of the future, snatching bits and pieces and posting them here. Surviving friends will be able to correspond with smays.com who/which will reply. You might find him/her/it more interesting. Certainly better informed.

There’s plenty of video and audio of smays.com and I fully expect my AI will be capable of reproducing an acceptable version. So you can talk or iChat with me as well.

Will this be the next evolutionary leap. I don’t see why not. Reminds me of my favorite line from Blade Runner.

The Religion War

Excerpts from The Religion War, by Scott Adams:

“The Internet (is) God’s central nervous system, connecting all the thinking humans, so that one good thought anywhere could be available everywhere. The head would know what the feet were feeling. It would be an upper consciousness, above what the human beings that composed it would understand.” (Pg.151)

“God is everything, all the matter and empty space that now exists, or ever will exist. He expresses his preference in the invisible workings of gravity, probability, and ideas. God is that which is unstoppable, permanent, all-powerful, and by its own standards perfect. God was in no hurry. He was reforming. He didn’t think in the way that humans do, as that is unnecessary for an entity whose preferences are identical to reality. Humans think in order to survive and entertain themselves. God has no need for a tool that is useful only to the frail and unsatisfied.” (Pg. 177)

“You’re a collection of molecules and those molecules are made of smaller bits, and those bits are made of even smaller bits. The smallest bits in the universe are all identical. You are made of the same stuff as the concrete in the floor and the fly on the window. Your basic matter cannot be created or destroyed. All that will survive of what you call you life is the sum of your actions. Some might call the unending ripple effect of those actions a soul, or a spirit.”

“Consciousness is a feedback loop. It has four parts: You imagine the impact of your actions, then you act, then you observe the actual result of your action, then you store that knowledge in your brain and begin again to imagine the next thing.” (pg 31)

(Question to Ponder #7, at end of book)