A new startup from MIT's Entrepreneurship Development Program is offering eternal life via the virtual world. The service, called Eterni.me, has designed a way to digitally reconstruct a person's personality after they die so that the dearly departed are able to "communicate" from beyond the grave.
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To get started, users must provide the service with access to online activities like chat logs, social-network accounts, photos and emails. Gleaned information is then used to stitch together a digital portrait and avatar that's capable of communicating with friends and loved ones after a person dies.
"Eterni.me collects almost everything that you create during your lifetime, and processes this huge amount of information using complex Artificial Intelligence algorithms," the Web site explains. "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 after you pass away. It's like a Skype chat from the past."