Dads Sofa : A Parenting and Lifestyle blog based in Exeter, Devon. Focussing on Dad Life, Geek Stuff, and Gluten Free Living

A Digital Ghost?

Have you ever received a Facebook notification reminding nudging you to wish Happy Birthday to a deceased friend? It’s an odd experience, almost as if the internet is nudging you to hang out with an old friend. It’s almost, because any interaction is strictly one way.

What if interaction could feel like its two way, and you almost feel like you could see the one you lost?

The below video tells the story of one guys experience playing a computer game against his dead Dads previous best, and at the same time, giving what could be the best reason to play computer games.

The voice over is pulled directly from a YouTube comment that was under a video called, “Can Video Games Be a Spiritual Experience?” Could the above be described as a spiritual experience?

I sometimes wonder what technology would look like in 20 – 30 years time. If people can have experiences like the above with what would now be consider old technology, what does the future hold?

In fact, is (what we might consider) a future technology already happening?

I read a theory a few months ago, that you could argue that human beings are separated into two separate states. One is our physical bodies. The other is our identities, or our souls.

Most (if not all) religions have a concept of an afterlife. A place where the soul lives on, but what if our earthly identity could be captured?

Eternime is one example of a company with plans to help your digital identity live on. They plan to combine everything you put on social media, photos from smart phone, email, and so on – the aim being to create a digital version of yourself, that will be accessible after you die.

According to the BBC website:

“Depending on the facts it has collected, the avatar will be able to offer anything from basic biographical data to being an engaging conversational partner,” says Marius Ursache, Eternime’s founder.

It is set to launch next year, and according to Eternime, more than 37,000 people have already signed up for the service.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure how I feel about this.

On one hand, I’m not going to be around for ever. Could there be some comfort in having a “digital dad” available online after I’m gone? But what if the service fails? Wouldn’t that be some sort of “second death”?

Doesn’t the idea of a “second death” sound creepy?

Does the whole thing sound a little creepy? People I’ve spoken to have commented on how weird it sounds. Is weird, because it sounds unnatural? And is it so unnatural, that we’re in danger of not just playing God, but going full blown Black Mirror? 

One last thought. If parents are meant to set an example to their children, how are we meant to set an example about something like this? 

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Staying Safe Online

Back in the day, I used to work on a Technical Support helpdesk for an Internet Service Provider. Yes I was one of those guys you ring when your internet stops working. It was around this time, when I began to care less about how the internet worked, instead I cared more about why people used the internet, and how people behave online.

I guess it was natural then that my interested was caught, when I had email come through about a new campaign from Get Safe Online and their partners. This is a campaign aimed at making people think twice before they act online, and not fall pray to scam emails, texts, or other forms of ‘Social engineering’ where fraudsters manipulate victims into sharing confidential information.

They hope that the following advert will “encourage the public to think twice before they act online”

 

Whilst the advert can possibly seem a fear inducing, I guess its to raise awareness. For example, you cant always believe that you’ve had an email from a friend who has randomly found himself stuck in the Ukraine., and needs money to get home*.

The Get Safe Online website is worth a look for their massive amount of advice ranging from online banking to safeguarding children.  While I’m not likely to send money to someone who says they’re randomly stuck in the Ukraine, resources to help educating our little one as she grows up in a more connected age then myself can only be helpful

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