A new service has launched called Virtual Eternity that promises to create an “intelligent” avatar that can live on after you die. The avatar would look like you, sound like you, and respond to questions just like you do. And it could live on indefinitely after you are gone.
The site, virtualeternity.com, allows you to upload a photo of yourself. Immediately you begin to see your avatar take life. Their application makes your photo come alive. Your photo blinks and your mouth opens and closes as it talks. The head even bobs around naturally giving it an immediately life-life appearance.
So how does it work?
You begin by training it. You answer personality tests. You teach it to answer in the same way that you do. You also upload photos that your future avatar can talk about. You can even make a voice profile so that it talks in your voice.
Once it’s trained, it can answer questions that are typed into a text field. Now, it isn’t perfect. In fact, the makers say that it’s still in beta. It fails on many questions, but it answers some correctly. And you can assume that the more data that you give it the more that it’ll know about you. You can also assume that with time, effort and increased computing power, these avatars could get pretty high fidelity.
This is an amazing platform for knowing people from the past, whether they are famous people or your grandparent. And while its current functionality needs some work, the potential is here to offer people something that is really unprecedented and something that we have never seen before, except in science fiction.