Humans have dealt with their mortality in many ways. One typical response is making sure someone remembers them and the good they did. Many people attempt this by doing deeds that leave an impression on history, or leaving a legacy for their progeny. A recently-founded New York startup is looking to provide an alternative way for people to store their memories and experiences so people in the future can benefit from their insights.
Yourbot Inc has created the Yourbot, a small device that records you and your personality, and allows people to talk to you in the future. Users will be asked a series of questions that span the spectrum of the human experience. These questions can be answered on a daily basis through the Yourbot mobile app or web interface. Questions have been prepared by researchers from Princeton University, and vary from birth date to political views to childhood desires. These questions will be used to create a digital personality that can be passed down through the generations. Users will then pay for either a 100 or 200 year subscription that will host their digital identity on Yourbot's servers
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Whenever a customer wants to access one of the many profiles, they just need to ask their Yourbot device for the person. The Yourbot device will then use a keyword-based speech-to-text engine to access this knowledge database over a secure wi-fi connection
Yourbot Inc. is currently trying to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter to fund its first version of Yourbot. The first 100 backers can preorder a Yourbot and 200 years of hosting for $250. All other backers can preorder a Yourbot and 200 years of hosting for $300. Backers also have the option of just creating a Yourbot digital profile. They can buy 100 years of hosting for $100, and 200 years for $150. Yourbot expects to deliver the first editions of the project by July 2015.
The Yourbot project is a lofty endeavor. Any attempt to store human memories for 100+ years will take a lot of planning, funding, and support. This project seems more attainable than other attempts at putting the human consciousness within a machine. However, we're unsure how accurate or helpful the Yourbot software will be. While Yourbot promises its users the opportunity to tell the future generation their stories, it looks more like a device designed to display video interviews. We'll be interested to see if Yourbot Inc adds any additional functionality during its 100 year plan.