AI Immortality 02.23.18

Immortality May Be Within Reach, Courtesy of AI Robots

Swedish scientists may be on the verge of conquering death—in a fashion. The scientists plan to build robot replicas of deceased people that use AI technology to answer questions, according to Sputnik News. These robots could serve as replacements for dead family members, keeping loved ones close even after they’re gone.

The robots represent “fully conscious copies” of people. The scientists say the automatons will be able to complete tasks such as responding to simple inquiries, like the weather forecast or the time of day. Future versions of the robots may be more sophisticated, with the capability to move and come into contact with people, Sputnik speculated.

Swedish funeral parlor Phoenix now is seeking volunteers willing to allow the scientists to replicate dead family members.

The Swedish effort represents just one way that AI technologies could deliver a form of immortality.
For example, entrepreneur Elon Musk has launched a company called Neuralink that could be used to preserve human consciousness. Neuralink is developing “neural lace” technology that involves implanting electrodes into the brain. These electrodes could upload or download thoughts, allowing elements of an individual’s personality to be saved and shared.

Musk believes the technology could make human brains part of an AI-enabled computer network.

“I think if we can effectively merge with AI, like improving the neural link between the cortex and your digital extension of yourself, which already exists but just has a bandwidth issue, then effectively, you become an AI-human symbiote. “We don’t have to worry about some evil dictator AI because we are the AI collectively.”

However, by storing the thoughts and downloading them into a robot replicant body, the personalities and appearances of the decreased conceivably could be preserved forever.

Futurologist Dr. Ian Pearson told The Daily Express that AI-equipped robots with advanced features will enable immortality for all kinds of consumers during the 21st century. People would be able to download their minds to these robots, giving them an individual’s personality.

“By 2050, it will only really be for the rich and famous,” Pearson said. “Most people on middle-class incomes and reasonable working-class incomes can probably afford this in the 2060s. So anyone 90 or under by 2060. If you were born sometime in 1970 onwards, that would make you 48 this year. So anybody under 50 has got a good chance of it, and anyone under 40 almost definitely will have access to this.”

Tyler Schulze is vice president, strategy & development at Veritone.  He serves as general manager for developer partnerships, cognitive engine ecosystem, and media ingestion for the Veritone platform. Learn more about our platform and join the Veritone developer ecosystem today.