My first response to this article was ‘why?’ My second was realising that this in no way is ‘living forever’. Utterly pointless.
The death of [Somnium Space CEO] Sychov’s father served as the inspiration for an idea that he would come to call “Live Forever” mode, a forthcoming feature in Somnium Space that allows people to have their movements and conversations stored as data, then duplicated as an avatar that moves, talks, and sounds just like you—and can continue to do so long after you have died. In Sychov’s dream, people will be able to talk to their dead loved one whenever they wish.
“Literally, if I die—and I have this data collected—people can come or my kids, they can come in, and they can have a conversation with my avatar, with my movements, with my voice,” he told me. “You will meet the person. And you would maybe for the first 10 minutes while talking to that person, you would not know that it’s actually AI. That’s the goal.”
But even with all the ethical preparation and experience the company can muster, there will be inevitable and justifiable ethical questions about allowing a version of a self to continue on in perpetuity. What if, for example, the children of a deceased Somnium Space user found it painful to know he was continuing on in some form in their metaverse?