Tag Archives: life after death

Digital Life After Death

Do you have a digital plan for when you die? An idea of what you want to do with your online presence after death? “Nine out of 10 Australians have a social media account of some description, yet the vast majority have not even had a conversation – let alone written anything down – about what should happen to these accounts when they die,” (Brad Hazzard, 2014)

What if you could live on after death?  What if, when you died, your social networks took the information you had provided it with, and then integrated it with software which analysed the way you interacted with the medium, and was able to continue your interaction for you?

Although the above video is intended as a parody of sorts, this sort of thinking isn’t too far off, with research underway, and programs already existing that play this sort of role.

Currently, Facebook opts to memorialise accounts when people pass away, unless family members request for it to be deleted, but what if we didn’t have to stop at the idea of posting tributes, and tagging our loved ones in the statuses.  What if we could just message them, tell them how much we loved and/or missed them and get a response?

Two years ago, I had a friend my age pass away from cancer, and I had sent her messages in the days leading up to this.  I had dyed my hair purple as it was her favourite colour, and wanted to show my love and support for her through this difficult time.  While I’m sure she did not see the post, it makes me wonder what would have happened if this technology was available.  What would she have said? Would it have reflected the girl I knew, and if it did, would she really be dead?  And if the AI which responded evolved over time based on conversations, would she still be the same person as when she physically died?