University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Digital Immortality and Virtual Humans

Savin-Baden, Maggi and Burden, D. (2019) Digital Immortality and Virtual Humans. Postdigital Science and Education, 1 (1). pp. 87-103. ISSN 2524-4868

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The use of virtual assistants such as Siri that provide voice and conversational interfaces, the growth of machine learning techniques to mine large data sets and the rise in the level of autonomy being given to computer-controlled systems all represent shifts in artificial intelligence that are enhancing the creation of digital immortality. The growth of personality capture and levels of brain simulation as well as computationally inspired life after death may change the future of religion, affect understandings of the afterlife and increase the influence of the dead surviving in society. This paper provides an overview of recent developments in the area of digital immortality, explores how such digital immortals might be created and raises challenging issues. It presents the early findings from a study that created a virtual persona. This prototype system contains relevant memories, knowledge, processes and modelling of an individual’s personality traits, knowledge and experience and, also, incorporates the individual’s subjective and possibly flawed view of reality. It is argued that this system offers the possibility for the development of a persona that learns post-death.

Item Type: Article
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The full-text of the published article can be accessed via the Official URL.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: digital immortality, virtual humans, chatbots, autonomous agents, artificial intelligence, machine learning
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
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Copyright Info: Open Access article (UW Springer OA agreement)
Depositing User: Maggi Savin-Baden
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2019 16:47
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:26

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