Human beings have always wanted to live forever—and now we can! Or at least our robot simulacra will be able to. Eterni.me is the latest annoying vaporware invented by utopian technology entrepreneurs. The company promises to distill all of your data—tweets, email, Facebook posts—into "an avatar that emulates your personality and can interact with, and offer information and advice to your family and friends after you pass away."
The site has already received 36,000 pageviews and 1,300 newsletter sign-ups, but since literally every person who has ever lived would love to have a posthumous ghost-robot, I'm betting that the start-up is going to get a lot more hype.
Which is too bad, because the product is nowhere near real. The "team" came together last weekend in a "one-week intensive accelerator" at MIT. While the technology to run such a bot certainly exists (Markov chains can algorithmically generate grammatical sentences given a pre-existing body of text), there's no hint about what the interface might look like. It's probably going to be more like a Facebook profile than an interactive hologram.
At least you'll have a chance to annoy your descendants forever, constantly badgering them about not emailing or chatting enough with your half-alive avatar that spews out rehashes of things you once said. It might be immortality of a sort, but not after your great-great-great future granddaughter pulls the plug on the server and your digital self drains away with a Voldemortian shriek.