Thursday, June 23, 2016

"augmented eternity"

I suppose that one of the 'fears' about dying and death goes something like this: "You mean I spent all that time scratching and scrimping and gathering coherent information and in a nanosecond -- poof! -- it's gone!? What a waste!" Of course I don't want to think of my life as a waste, so having it go "poof!" is not pleasant.

But now comes the suggestion that the "poof!" factor can be overcome. I'm not entirely sure whether that is more or less depressing than the alternative.
Researchers at the MIT Media Lab and Ryerson University in Toronto believe that by applying artificial intelligence to all the data we produce each day, we may be able to transfer our thoughts to a virtual entity that not only survives our physical demise but continues to learn as new information is plugged into it.
This 'advance' is being quaintly dubbed "augmented eternity."
 “Your physical being may die, but your digital being will continue to evolve with the purpose of helping people and maintaining your legacy as an evolving being.”
Do I really want to live forever just because I'm scared of the "poof!" factor? There's something grotesque about it, though I'm not sure I can put my finger on it.

It just feels somehow eeeeeuuuuuuuwwwwwwww! Death may be scary, but isn't it somehow, likewise, a relief from all that scratching and scrimping?

1 comment:

  1. An interesting thing to do, but i don't know that i'd wish the emotional storms of living on an innocent machine. Marvin the depressed robot from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy comes to mind.