The Virtual You

I have written about digital twins over the past year and participated in several articles describing a future where virtual representations of all things physical are viable. You can explore the topic here. The art of the possible is coming into focus.

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What The Community Said about Interacting With Lost Loved Ones

In this post from February 2nd, I once again posed the question of interacting with a lost loved one. This scenario is part of a broad digital twins discussion, whether it is a digital version of a lost loved one, or a version of ourselves that lives on forever. In a post from February 2020, I included this video that showed a women reconnecting with her lost daughter virtually (digital twin):

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Talking To Ghosts

Storytelling is a powerful way to communicate in a world as fast-moving and uncertain as ours. Jason Fagone demonstrates its power in a brilliantly written piece on mental health, loneliness, grief, and isolation. It is a very long article, but incredibly impactful. He tells a story of a grief-stricken freelance writer that lost his fiancée to a rare liver disease. In telling the story, Jason shows both the power and fascination of current day innovation, and its fear and destructive potential. It effectively describes our need to balance these opposing forces of innovation. Some background: Jason Rohrer, a Bay Area programmer, launched Project December, which is powered by one of the world’s most capable artificial intelligence systems, a piece of software known as GPT-3. It knows how to manipulate human language, generating fluent English text in response to a prompt.

This text-based experiment created a new kind of chat service that lies at the heart of this story. He created various personalities and proceeded to communicate with them. During one exchange with a bot he named Samantha, he asked her what she would do if she could walk around in the world. This exchange led to a realization:

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Companion Robots And Mental Health

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