Grieving can be a difficult emotional time. Parting with someone that you are close with can take its toll on anyone. However, new technological start-ups are starting to think about ways in which they can help with this transition.
Charlie Brooker, creator of the popular, dark, often satirical drama ‘Black Mirror’, has eerily predicted lots of popular trends. From David Cameron’s porcine PR nightmare, to rating people out of 5 stars, affecting their quality of life (see Uber ratings!). Despite this, the episode ‘Be Right Back’, may have again correctly predicted the new trend on technology start-ups trying to deal with death.
Eternime, a new technology start-up, will try to match your online footprint with artificial intelligence in order to create a digital version of yourself after you have died. This means your digital self could post a throwback selfie on Instagram, join in on a political discussion on Facebook, even tweet you using their favourite hashtags.
There are other ways in which a digital afterlife can be more accurate. Voicemails, photos and other information can be used to (pardon the pun) flesh out the experience. Eter9 had this idea in 2014, granting an ‘eternity for free’, predicting your online response, and posting as yourself both whilst you are alive, and after you are deceased. Mr Jorge, the software developer who launched the product, states ‘the interaction will be progressively more effective, taking into account the acquired information and its ‘experience’, and also the interaction between the physical part and the virtual connections’.
Previous iterations of this idea haven’t been that successful. ‘Virtual Eternity’ promised the same experience, however shut down after two years as only 10,000 people signed up. Perhaps we aren’t ready for this kind of technological step. Would you want immortality in cyberspace?
Psychology and Computer Science students may want to think about whether people accurately represent their true selves online, and what really defines the human existence.