Eternime Close to Launching AI Avatars that Could Preserve Your Memories Forever
Eternime is launching its avatar service to first 100 users out of 30,000 on the waiting list, starting December 2015. The company aims to create the first network of personal Artificial Intelligence avatars.
The goal is to preserve thoughts, stories and memories for eternity, into digital clones that could perform natural conversations with other people. These avatars could become the oldest living digital entities known by the 22nd century and beyond.
Started as an experiment during the Entrepreneurship Development Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2014, Eternime attracted interest from all around the world (more than 30,000 people signed up for the private beta) and became a controversial topic covered in hundreds of news in international media. Most people on the beta waiting list are millennials, but there are also Alzheimer’s or terminally-ill patients looking to leave behind a small self-aware entity for the loved ones.
“We aim to collect more contextual data rather than just factual one, we’re looking into ontology learning and automated question generation techniques. Our next step is to enable open conversations about anything (well, a large subset of “anything”), and learn from those conversations with the user and user’s peers. We expect avatars to perform coherent conversations by the end of the decade” says Laurian Gridinoc, Chief Technology Officer.
Eternime avatars will behave as a personal biographer. They will start like a tamagotchi, and continue to develop themselves. Learning will be triggered by daily chats with the owner, but also activity from social accounts, smartphones or even wearables. The platform will collect, backup and analyze these data points—and the more data points and interactions, the smarter the avatar. Each digital event (new friend on Facebook, new trip, new purchase) could trigger conversations between the avatar and its owner, to add more context to existing information.
“We might be 20 years away from creating a life-like avatar, but it is essential that the data collection process starts now. If we don’t collect this information starting TODAY, we will develop intelligent avatars in the following years, but a lot of the memories will be lost forever” says Marius Ursache, Founder & CEO of the company.
The first version of the product (Alpha One) was launched in April 2015 to 30 users and the feedback lead to changing both the product approach and technology. The company is now testing internally a second version (Alpha Two) before launch.
“Our vision remains unchanged. The end goal is to preserve thoughts, stories and memories of entire generations and create a library of human memories, one where our children could discuss with their ancestors about individual or collective experiences and thoughts” added Marius Ursache.
Eternime is a US corporation funded by founders and through Chilean government grants. The four-people team is based in Cambridge (MA, United States) and Skopje (Macedonia), and relies on advice from top entrepreneurs and mentors at MIT. Private beta signups are available here.