Thursday, November 21, 2013

Death and the Net

Arthur Squared - digital - 2011, Dia Sobin 

"Some people have been searching for ways to fill that silence, by using artificial intelligence to continue to provide content for a dead user’s social media presence. An app called LivesOn, for instance, offers a service that can continue to send tweets after the death of the Twitter account-holder. Developed by a creative agency and Queen Mary, University of London, the app is designed to analyse a user’s existing tweets, learning from their syntax and word usage to construct new tweets that sound like the user. Another company, Virtual Eternity, based in Alabama, has developed animated avatars of the dead, so that their distant descendants can communicate with them."

- Patrick Stokes via Aeon Magazine, November 20, 2013

The inquiry initiated with Rob Walker's New York Time article continues... this time by Patrick Stokes over at Aeon Magazine, in an engaging article entitled The Digital Soul, from which I pulled the above quote.

Very interesting... but, a tad creepy! An app for ghostly tweets? I shudder to think!

For links to past treatments of the same subject, see this post.


  1. This is ... disturbing ... but interesting nonetheless. Thanks for posting.

    1. Welcome, TB.
      I can't imagine anyone desiring electronic tweets that impersonate dead loved ones, nor cartoons of the dead designed for the future... but, leave it to the cyber-merchants: dead or alive, here or hereafter, there's an app for it.