LivesOn App Gives New Meaning To ‘Ghostwriter’
What happens to your Twitter account when you die? Afraid all your followers will be distraught missing the daily updates of your everyday thoughts and activities? LivesOn has the answer.
The app—set to launch in March—will host Twitter accounts after their owners move to the great social network in the sky. Its developers claim LivesOn’s artificial-intelligence engine is capable of analyzing Twitter feeds, learning users’ likes and syntaxes, and posting similar Tweets once they’ve passed on, provided the user appoints an executor to control the account.
Other apps offer postmortem Tweets, but only in pre-prepared form. LivesOn will be the first to use updates created by an AI. Dave Bedwood, a partner of Lean Mean Fighting Machine–the ad agency behind Lives On–told WallStreetInsanity he came up with the idea for LivesOn in early 2011 after realizing how much information people pump into social media.
“The thought just came… how much of ourselves will be give to zeros and ones?” Bedwood said. “Will any of its really constitute us? A lot of people are just sticking photos of what they have to eat online, which doesn’t really reflect a complete person.”
But Bedwood told WallStreetInsanity it’s simply evolutionary that man will ultimately use technology as a way to live one after he has left his mortal body.
“Popular culture has gone on about it for years from ‘Lawnmower Man‘ to ‘The Matrix,‘” he said. “Religions have sold us afterlife—good or bad—for eons.”
Bedwood recognizes that not everyone will be a fan of the service, with the spook-worthy tagline, “When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep Tweeting.” He said the idea offends some, and delights others.
“We are definitely not about bringing people back from the dead and start posting it on Twitter without consent,” he explained. “We’re not trying to create an army of the dead.”
How does it work? Once a user signs up for a LivesOn account, they receive a second account with a LivesOn handle, @wallstreetinsanity_LIVESON, for example—hypothetically, of course. The new account only has one follower—the user—unless it is made public. The LivesOn account follows the original Twitter feed an analyzes it using bayesian inference, genetic algorithm and potentially Google predict.
“The goal is to get it to almost become like a twin so you can go and do other stuff whilst you LivesOn version scours the Internet for the things you would like to read and watch,” Bedwood said. “So it’s a very helpful tool. Over the years and with the advancement of technology and platforms, we may be able to imitate the way you talk.”
Of course when the user eventually dies, if the LivesOn account has been open long enough it may be in a position to keep on Tweeting as a second version of the user–with consent from the user and the executor, of course.
“This, to me, is not weirder than any afterlife that has been promised by organized religion, or hell that has been threatened,” Bedwood said. “It’s just a sign of our times—let’s explore that. People who have taken offense think we are just trying to bring back the dead—which isn’t the case.”
What do you think? Would you trust a Twitter bot to use algorithms and communicate on your behalf from the other side? Or would you be afraid your spirit may have to come back and do some quick deleting?
[Image via LivesOn]
I want more stuff like this!