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You won't live forever, but your personal avatar can

While no one lives forever, immortality is not so far-fetched in the Internet realm.

Facebook, the juggernaut of social media, has already created ways to keep your digital timeline going long after your biological clock has stopped. Their website has over one-billion users. Of those accounts, 30 million are dead. Each day 8,000 users die, creating a lot of floating content, pictures and memories.

In 2009, Facebook created different options for dealing with the aftermath. Verified family members can now request to have the account completely deleted, or if they wish, have it memorialized. This locks the profile, but friends can still post comments and send messages.

Another option is using an app called “If I Die” that links directly to Facebook and allows a user to leave a message while they are still alive. Once the user dies, the video is released by a pre-selected person.

Other recently launched companies are taking immortality a step further. A new start-up called eterni.me is working to use artificial intelligence to help a person leave a legacy. CEO and co-founder, Marius Ursache, says ideally they would start curating the person’s online material around age 30. Using advanced algorithms, the team would create an avatar or chatbot to translate that material– essentially allowing the person to leave a digital representation of his likeness, including appearance, that loved ones could interact with once the person is gone.

The company hopes to have a beta version of eterni.mi available in 2015.

Credit: By Kimberly Brooks and Pedro Andrade

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