The Industry of Immortality Rising

Currently in the BETA stage, ETER9 is a social network that relies on artificial intelligence to communicate with and through your Counterpart – a virtual self that lives, learns, interacts, and posts content online, even when you’re not around. A more autonomous bot-like version of yourself, if you will. Users can also adopt existing or abandoned bots, otherwise known as Niners, and nurture them into being. Beyond helping you manage your increasingly demanding social networking, ETER9’s eternizing feature is a way of keeping your thoughts, posts, and personality interacting with others for all time. Assuming your AI Counterpart becomes more like you – more nuanced and effective as it learns over time – you will be present for others to enjoy long after your organic self has departed from this earth.

ETER9 is not the first platform to explore how to preserve your online self. The platform is one of a growing list of AI-driven services that are seeking to address, in one way or another, the question of: When I’m gone, what will become of my social media profiles, my legacy, and my content online? The expectations surrounding social networks, digital media, and our ability to interact autonomously within them is changing. As we grow more aware of a long-term, post-life presence online, we must navigate these new tools that manage the balance of real vs. digital relationships. They enhance our ability to be present and to participate in multiple conversations, interactions, and exchanges simultaneously across context and time; they maximize our presence and our “being” by training and nurturing one or more virtual semi-autonomous or fully autonomous versions of ourselves. So who gets the real version of you? Which is better and why? Transhumanists, among others, may delight in this disruption to the natural order of self-replication and reproduction; aging boomer populations, who are increasingly aware of their own mortality, and are becoming comfortable with technology and the use of tech to capture and share their memories, may find themselves learning to build a more resolved legacy; empty nesters might find comfort in the nurturing of future selves; digital natives and the following generations are growing up with this type of legacy as the norm. Technologies such as ETER9 undoubtedly have an influence on our behaviors, and re-shape our ideas about content, privacy, and ownership.

ETER9
Credit: ETER9

Personal

Technologies that allow for this sort of preservation encourage individuals to establish a lasting connection with their loved ones and future descendants after their organic selves have gone. We should consider their impact on existing and forthcoming personal and family relationships that will take place. Who are you now? Who will you become once you’re gone?

How will your great-great-great grandchildren come to know you? How will the family dinner, birthday party, and graduation ceremony of the future change? How will your content and online actions today preserve and recreate a better you tomorrow?

Brand

This autonomous and eternal space opens up the potential for brands to establish and maintain an engaging presence amongst the conversations between real and virtual customers. We should consider how, over time, brands and their representatives may evolve and simultaneously continue to exist within this complexity.

In what ways will future brands extend themselves into eternal dialogues?

Organizational The rise of immortal agents may signify a brighter future for the sharing and preservation of knowledge between generations within the organization. We should consider how the individual’s repertoire, perspective, organizational story, and narrative could be better preserved and passed along to future generations. How can the interactions between new, old, and older employees be improved to enhance future potential and performance?

How might we better capture and preserve cross-generational organizational knowledge?

 

the author

Mathew Lincez

Mathew Lincez is VP, Futures at Idea Couture. See his full bio here.