Have We Uploaded Enough Data To Create Digital Copies Of Ourselves?

In an episode of the British dystopian sci-fi show Black Mirror, titled “Be Right Back,” a man who dies in a car crash leaves behind enough social media and other data traces to be digitally recreated, first online and then as a creepily life-like robot. Turns out, that scenario is not so far-fetched. “A lot of the concepts that are on the Internet now came from sci-fi, and then the infrastructure caught up and people can build it,” says Hossein Rahnama, founder of the location-based service company Flybits and a visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab. He has taken the first step into the uncanny valley of digital surrogates with Augmented Eternity, technology that builds concierge bots based on real human beings with particular expertise and personalities. Instead of…


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