While I was backing up last years photos to my network storage device it occurred to me that my iPhone has replaced the digital camera just as that replaced the Polaroids of my childhood. What’s amazing is that my children and their children after them will enjoy an unprecedented look back at the past via pictures. But as technology marches forward where will the next generation go with their visual recordings of their special moments? My guess is that at some point we will all wear a device that doesn’t take snapshots but instead is a continuous video record of everything we see and do. Then at the end of the day one could decide which portions of their day to retain for historical reference. Imagine having a candid review of even a single important moment in your life and you can quickly see the value this would bring. Then imagine that same system having the records from all of your loved ones who were also at that event. You would see the world in an entirely different light.
Now most reading this will say so what, we already have video cameras, but where I think this idea differs from that dramatically is the next step. I imagine a system that holds these life records and then can intelligently recall them with a likeness of ourselves for future generations. So 100 years from now my great, great grandchildren would be able to query the life record of their ancestors and ask it a question. Say this hypothetical great, great grandson asks about girls and love. A computer generated likeness of myself could talk and interact with him and even show him some of the trials and tribulations of life.
As modern advances create new forms of artificial intelligence, it’s conceivable that my future relatives will be able to actually have a conversation with the virtual me. The computer would put together this virtual likeness based on the life records and then decide how I might have answered any given question. It would even be able to play back specific instances and again pull in the perspectives of others that were there.
We all hate the thought of dying, but here is a way that we could, in a manner of speaking, live on forever.