The quest for immorality continues, and many believe that this quest will inevitably lead us to artificial intelligence—to robots that allow us to upload our thoughts, feelings, and memories so that we can leave our biological bodies behind and continue on for perpetuity. Cheating death, as it were.

Of course, a number of people take issue with this idea. First, there is the question about whether or not artificial intelligence is really a way to achieve immortality. If we upload our thoughts to a computer, are we really achieving immortality, or are we just creating a new and different kind of life? And can this even be considered life? What's the criteria? Is non-biological life truly alive? If it is life, is it something that humanity has a right to create? Will we have a right to tamper with it later on, or will it have rights as a unique and independent lifeform?

Though these questions are relevant (and also terribly interesting), they cannot be answered objectively. So we will leave them behind for now.

This is Bina-48. As you can tell, she's not your typical human. Indeed, she's not a human at all, though she sure sounds like one, and she even looks like one. At least, she look realistic to a certain degree. When she moves and communicates, she looks a little more robotic and artificial. Bina was created five years ago by a company called by Hanson Robotics

Image credit: Hanson Robotics

The company notes that the robot was modeled after Bina Aspen, a Realtor from Compton, Californiahrough and the wife of co-creator of Bina-48, Martine Rothblatt. In order to create Bine-48, more than one hundred hours were spent compiling the various memories, feelings, and beliefs of the "real" Bina. And Hanson Robotics asserts that the end result was quite successful: "BINA48 engages in conversation with other humans, such as offering an emotional account of her brother’s personality changes after returning home from the Vietnam War." She can also answer questions and contribute randomly to conversations.

Rothblatt clarifies that this shouldn't been seen as any crazy feat or accomplishment. It's not like defying gravity or upsetting the laws of physics—it's just writing effective computer code.  However, one company is attempting to use this technology in order to create an artificial version of yourself. Eterni.me. The website claims that it hope to make people "immortal." As they state:

We're a team of talented engineers and designers who met during the MIT Entrepreneurship Development Program. We're looking to solve an incredibly challenging problem of humanity.

Eterni.me collects almost everything that you create during your lifetime, and processes this huge amount of information using complex Artificial Intelligence algorithms.

Then it generates a virtual YOU, an avatar that emulates your personality and can interact with, and offer information and advice to your family and friends, even after you pass away.

They haven't launched just yet, but they will be going live soon. So if you are interested, you can head over to the website and be one of the first to signup.

And of course Bina-48 isn't the only robot in the works. Eve is another design that looks amazingly lifelike. You can see here in action in the video below, and meet the other robots at the company website.


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