A computer scientist is urging the world to include their aging parents and loved ones as he predicts that consciousness could be uploaded to a computer this year.
Dr. Pratik Desai, who founded several AI startups in Silicon Valley, said if people have enough video and voice recorders of their loved ones, there’s a “100 percent chance” that relatives will “live with you forever.”
Desai, who has created his own ChatGPT-like system, wrote on Twitter, “This should even be possible by the end of the year.”
Many scientists believe that the rapid advancement in AI, where ChatGPT is leading the way, is poised to usher in a new golden age for technology.
However, the world’s greatest minds are divided on the technology – Elon Musk and more than 1,000 tech leaders are calling for a pause, warning that it could destroy humanity.
On the other hand, there are other experts, such as Bill Gates, who believe that AI will improve our lives – and it seems that other experts agree that it will help us live on forever.
A 2020 Korean show used virtual reality to reunite a mother with her seven-year-old daughter (pictured), who died in 2016. The technology recreated the little girl as she was before she died
A computer scientist believes that technology to create digital people after their deaths will be possible by the end of this year
Desai is on Gates’ side, believing we can recreate our dead loved ones as avatars living inside a computer.
The process involves digitizing videos, voice recordings, documents and photos of the person, which are then fed into an AI system that learns everything about the individual.
Users can then design a specific avatar to look and act like their living relative did.
ChatGPT’s progress has helped advance a company that is working on virtual humans.
The project called Live Forever creates a VR robot of a person with the same speech and mannerisms as the person it was supposed to replicate.
Artur Sychov, the founder of Live Forever, shared Motherboard in 2022 that he predicted the technology would be out in five years, but due to recent advances in AI, he expects it to be just a short while.
“We can take this data and apply AI to it and recreate you as an avatar on your land plot or in your NFT world, and people will be able to come and talk to you,” Sychov told Motherboard.
‘You will meet the person. And maybe for the first 10 minutes, while talking to that person, you wouldn’t know that it’s actually AI. That’s the goal.’
Another AI company, DeepBrain AI, has created a memorial hall where people can reunite with their departed loved ones in an immersive experience.
The service, called Rememory, uses photos, videos and a seven-hour interview of the person while they are alive.
The AI-powered virtual person is designed with deep learning technologies to capture the individual’s appearance and voice, which is displayed on a 400-inch screen.
In 2020, a Korean television show used virtual reality to reunite a mother with her seven-year-old daughter, who died in 2016.
The show, ‘Meeting You’, told the story of the loss of their seven-year-old daughter Nayeon by a family.
The two were able to touch, play and have conversations, and the little girl assured her mother that she was no longer in pain.
Google engineer Ray Kurzweil is also working on a digital afterlife for humans, specifically bringing his father back to life
Jang Ji-sung, Nayeon’s mother, donned the Vive virtual reality (VR) headset and was transported to a garden where her daughter stood smiling in a bright purple dress.
“Oh my beauty, I missed you,” the mother can be heard saying as she strokes her daughter’s digital replica.
Desai didn’t give many details about his idea of the technology, but former Google engineer Ray Kurzweil is also working on a digital afterlife for humans – specifically to bring his father back to life.
Kurzweil, 75, said his father died when he was 22 years old and hopes to talk to him through a computer one day.
“I will be able to talk to this recreation,” he told the BBC in 2012. “In the end, it will be so realistic that it will be like talking to my father.”
Kurzweil explained that he has hundreds of boxes of his father’s documents, recordings, films and photographs, which he is digitizing.
“A really good way to express all this documentation would be to create an avatar that would create an AI that would resemble my father as much as possible given the information we have on him, possibly including his DNA” Kurzweil said.
The scientist went on to explain that his digital father would undergo a Turing test, a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior similar to or indistinguishable from that of a human.
“If an entity passes the Turing test, let alone a specific person, then that person is conscious,” Kurzweil said.
In addition to uploading memories of the dead, Kurzweil also predicts that humans will achieve immortality in just eight years.
He recently spoke to the YouTube channel Adagioin which he discusses the expansion in genetics, nanotechnology and robotics that he believes will lead to age-reversing “nanobots.”
These tiny robots repair damaged cells and tissues that deteriorate as the body ages and make us immune to diseases such as cancer.
Kurzweil was hired by Google in 2012 to “work on new machine learning and language processing projects,” but he had been making predictions about technology advancements long before that.
In 1990 he predicted that the world’s best chess player would lose to a computer by 2000, which happened in 1997 when Deep Blue defeated Gary Kasparov.
Kurzweil made another surprising prediction in 1999: He said that by 2023, a $1,000 laptop would have the computing power and storage capacity of a human brain.
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He said that machines are already making us more intelligent, and connecting them to our neocortex allows people to think smarter.
Contrary to what some fear, he believes that implanting computers in our brains will make us better.
“We’re getting more neocortex, we’re getting funnier, we’re getting better at music. We’re getting sexier,” he said.
“We’re really going to give more examples of all the things we appreciate in people.”
Rather than a vision of the future in which machines take over humanity, Kurzweil believes we will create a human-machine synthesis that will make us better.
The concept of nanomachines inserted into the human body has been in science fiction for decades.