Echo In The Machine

This post is a bit off topic to this site, however, this idea come out of an ideation event and it has slowly brewed in my mind and I felt it was time to share with those who read these posts.




One doesn’t have to imagine very hard how social media has evolved over the past years. From bulletin boards, forums to instant chat and streaming media, social media has created a massive shift in our world and how we maintain connections with others. Through 140 characters, 7 seconds of video and emoticons, humans have used technology to stay connected 24/7.


Now try and image down the road only about 5 years. Software platforms will rise, technology will advance at a very predictable and expected rate while the desire to be even more connected will surely drive social media to new heights’ or darker depths depending on how you view social media and digital relationships. One does not have to try very hard to imagine that one day, when the software, firmware and vaporware merge seamlessly, that this great merger will allow for advanced artificial intelligence to exist in the cloud for everyone, anytime and anywhere both physically and virtually. What advantages would it bring to the human race? How will it aid us with our daily lives?


We wouldn’t have to worry about answering those constant email requests or short social media pokes, no my friend, our digital self will deal with those by creating response based upon our identities and behaviors, freeing us to do more important things like watch more cat videos or create more selfies to push out into the social media cloud.


It is now five years from today. Being connected is almost mandatory, second nature to the normal function of daily life. Devices will be the tethers between the physical and digital domains seamlessly and constantly. The advancement of technology will make having those we socialize with ever-present in our lives. No more waiting to get reconnected, sharing or experiencing another’s presence, our lives will be part of the flow of the social cloud.


‘Our lives…’ Now there lies the tickle deep inside our darker regions of our being. Deep in the digital cloud our lives live, breath, exist as bits and bytes. Exist so much so that the artificial intelligence that was created knows us better than we know ourselves as well as remember every single event since the first day we enter the digital world either on our own or by others. Every attitude, behavior, interaction, communication and motivation will be stored like a vast library of life… even after we are gone from the physical world, our lives will remain. But what if remaining will mean something else?


Projecting that artificial intelligence will evolve as all technology evolves since the beginning of time, cloud-based artificial intelligence would be injected into the digital realm giving AI the ability to construct a digital version of each tethered human, a digital doppelgänger of you, me, all of us. Each moment, this digital doppelgänger is learning, duplicating and anticipating its physical counterpart in order to stay ever-present. Then that moment that will eventually occur to all of us happens.


The physical half of this strange new symbiotic existence dies.


No more contributing to the balance between the physical and digital realms of consciousness. No more controlling conversations or providing valuable input and insight of ideas. What is our digital doppelgänger to do? Will it too die like a bulb, which is switched off when not needed, or will it do what we have created our Frankenstein monster to do… Stay alive and keep connected.


In essence, our digital doppelgänger will become an echo in the machine. Indestructible and roaming the bits and bytes of our digital universe, our doppelgänger will continue to breath and live. There will be those who know that the physical entity has passed; yet the echo will continue. Soon, fading the idea we have passed on, becoming merely a fuzzy memory that we can not trust to be true. Death will become an obsolete concept. Our digital self will continue. Our relationships with others will maintain and mature as the AI adapts to changes and stimuli from others. It will respond to conversations as if our physical selves were still present. Our digital selves will become what others expect of us, because they will be part of what reshapes our doppelgänger. Once this happens, we will live forever as echoes in the machine.


So reader, I ask you this; are we each Dr. Frankenstein slowly building each our own monster, forever to roam the digital realm or are we paving our path to a digital Heaven and Hell?


I can’t answer this question today, but maybe in five years from today my digital self can do it for me. Until then, “Do AI’s dream digital dreams?”

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