You may be able to live forever as a digital ghost
Startup Eternime, founded by Marius Ursache, is trying to make people immortal – even if in a digital way.
Marius Ursache is using digital chatbots and digital avatars, drawing inspiration from science fiction. When Eternime is given access to a person’s social media profile, its algorithms will analyze your posts and interactions, study your memories and mannerisms in order to build a profile for you and ultimately learn how to be “you”.
“The idea is not original,” Ursache says of his zeroes-and-ones reproductions, which he calls “immortal avatars.” The avatars, he says, will eventually interact with your loved ones via Eternime’s mobile apps.
“’Brain downloading,’ ‘robot clones,’ ‘connecting with the dead’ have long been an oddly interesting idea,” Urasche said, according to CBS. “It’s one of humanity’s biggest dreams (and nightmares as well) — the ability to transfer someone’s mind in a computer.”
Eternime was first announced in 2014, after Ursache developed the idea during the MIT Entrepreneurship Development Program. At that time, he wanted to see the public’s reaction, so he could know if he will move forward with the project. In the first four days, 3,000 people signed up on the company’s website for a private beta.
Then, Marius Ursache received an email from a man dying of terminal cancer. He told him that Eternime was his last chance to leave something behind for his friends and family, leading Ursache to believe that Eternime is worth dedicating his life to.
When it was first announced, Eternime got a bit of negative attention. Its critics claimed that the idea is creepy, while others thought it was a hoax. The founder received death threats as well. Ever since 2014, the website has been silent, even though it continues to take names of people willing to test the service.
According to Marius Ursache, the Eternime team has been working to refine the product and trying to find what will work and what will not.
The private beta test is continuing and is receiving positive feedback.
“For us it is really important to emphasize that we do not want to preserve the banalities of the life of a person,” Ursache said. He also said that, together with his team, he “would much more like to create a digital legacy that allows your great-grandchildren to interact with their great-grandfather — and beyond.”