“What kind of wife would I be if I left your father simply because he was dead?”
-Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins
Death doesn’t do as much harm to the person who died than those who are left behind in the abyss of their loved one’s absence. Grieving people often struggle to let go of their dead loved ones. It is being contemplated that very soon, technology will be used for recreating dead ones with the help of synthetic robot clones along with a digital copy of the deceased person’s brain. With the development of Artificial Intelligence, the possibility of such things is gaining momentum.
The Terasem Movement is a research foundation which is researching in the field of robotics that deals with the transfer of the human consciousness to computers and robots. The firm has been working relentlessly to create thousands of mind clones which are capable of logging the memories, values and attitudes of different types of people.
The research led to the creation of one of world’s most socially advanced robots, Bina48. It is a replica of the Terasem movement’s founder Martine Rothblatt’s wife Bina Aspen. The robot would sell for approximately $150,000 and has Bina Aspen’s mind file installed in it.
Bina48 has a skin that is made of rubber and it uses more than 100 hours of audio data recorded by Bina Aspen in connection to her memories and beliefs. With the help of facial and voice recognition software, motion tracking sensors and the almighty internet, Bina 48 has the ability to greet people, make facial expressions and even have conversations.
With Bina48, the line between the biological and digital world grows thinner as we try to cross to the other side. In the next few decades we may have quite a few of these robots at more affordable prices. Over 56,000 people have already shown interest in the prototype and handed over their information to create mind files. There is a yearning in most of us to live forever and the Terasem Movement tries to make it easier.