Digital immortality: How your life’s data means a version of you could live forever

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Your family and friends will be able to interact with a digital “you” that doles out advice—even when you’re gone.

Hossein Rahnama knows a CEO of a major financial company who wants to live on after he’s dead, and Rahnama thinks he can help him do it.

Rahnama is creating a digital avatar for the CEO that they both hope could serve as a virtual “consultant” when the actual CEO is gone. Some future company executive deciding whether to accept an acquisition bid might pull out her cell phone, open a chat window, and pose the question to the late CEO. The digital avatar, created by an artificial-intelligence platform that analyzes personal data and correspondence, might detect that the CEO had a bad relationship with the acquiring company’s execs. “I’m not a fan of that company’s leadership,” the avatar might say, and the screen would go red to indicate disapproval.

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