“Life forever” is the name of the service launched by Artur Sychov. Eternal life, the founder of the start-up Somnium Space was seriously considering the subject when his father was suddenly taken away by a particularly aggressive cancer. “Suddenly I understood that the time I still had with him was limited”, he explained to Vice.com. Somnium Space is a metaverse as there are starting to be many. It is already compatible with virtual reality headsets on the market and therefore has quite a unique mode, “Live Forever”.
The idea is to record all your real-life movements and conversations in a database to be able to replicate them on your avatar so that it moves, speaks… in short, looks as close to you as possible. And that he continues to live in your place after your death. So a form of eternal life, but virtually. The goal is that your loved ones can chat with you for as long as they want.
Artificial intelligence to animate the avatar after you die
“When I die, I literally have all this data stored. My friends or my kids can connect and have a conversation with my avatar, with my movements and my voice”, summarizes Artur Sykhov. Artificial intelligence has learned to make transactions as plausible as possible. And that we can’t tell if, behind the avatar, a real person animates the character or if it works based on pre-recorded data.
“We can use all this recorded data and apply artificial intelligence to recreate you as an avatar on your plot of land in the metaverse or in your NFT world. People can then come to you and chat with you”, says Arthur Sykhov. Eternal life in Web3 sauce, in short.
People can come and see you and chat with you in the metaverse
A haptic combination in development with Elon Musk
Specifically, the idea is to capture linguistics, habitual gestures, the way you move your body, walk, animate your fingers, with virtual reality systems. According to a study published in the scientific journal Nature in 2020, tracking someone’s movements requires less than 5 minutes of observation to be able to identify yourself with a group of 500 people with 95% confidence. Dizzy.
To take this perspective even further, Somnium Space is partnering with Teslasuit, a company founded by Elon Musk. The goal is to develop a full-body haptic suit to make virtual reality even more believable. Thanks to electrical micro signals, this haptic combination allows you to feel the effect of human touch on your body. That is, as if someone puts his hand on yours, for example. In addition, it will be able to collect even more data about how your body reacts biologically (heart rate, stress level, etc.).
Eternal life: first tests planned this year
All this is to create a perfectly believable duplicate of yourself to survive and stay alive in the metaverse. Somnium Space plans to begin recording the lives of people interested in the concept this year. But initially, only their avatar’s actions on their plot are recorded in the metaverse.
Recording “in real life” and adding the artificial intelligence layer will have to wait until 2023. A first basic version of their immortal avatar can then be set up.
An avatar that can evolve even after you die
“The great thing about this idea is that this other version of you can continue to evolve through artificial intelligence. Even though the data was recorded years earlier. By combining all the collected data and gradually improving the technology, we can evolve your avatar and make it more and more believable”says the founder of Somnium Space.
The question remains about the use of this data. Unlike Facebook, which often knows more about you than your loved ones, the system doesn’t own your data. Everything is decentralized in Web3. “We don’t want to know your name. We don’t care who you are”swears Arthur Sykhov.
A subscription and many open questions for this eternal life
The “Live Forever” mode is disabled by default in its metaverse. It is up to each individual whether or not to take advantage of this unique option for eternal life. For the company to collect your data, it will therefore be necessary to subscribe to a subscription. For the first registrants it will be about $50 a year (about $47). Since it does not resell your data, it will therefore be necessary to contribute financially for the storage of the data.
But who continues to pay after the person’s death? And what happens if the offspring don’t want an avatar of their relative to live somewhere, even virtually? “We will have to think about this with our legal team”, acknowledges the CEO of omnium Space. To be or not to be… the metaverse will – perhaps – allow you to choose both.