Immortal Computing Is A Little Creepy, Microsoft

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In my grandparent’s basement, on the wall, there are pictures of ugly, frowning people, relatives of mine, in that ghostly, milky sepia coloring all those 19th Century photos have. They’re dead, those people, and some part of them is part of me – but if they had ever spoken to me through those dusty frames (and I imagined they did), Great Great Grandfather would be dead twice, his second life smashed on the mantle.

I spooked easy as a kid.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer picked up on a patent application filed by Microsoft coining the phrase “immortal computing.” While still only a research project, and still behind the tight lips of the researchers, the general description for patenting purposes proposes a technology durable enough withstand the ages, or just long enough to get into the hands of the curious future.

Imagine a boy in the 27th Century, in Peru, getting an “email” (whatever that is) from an ancestor in North America (before the Great Migration). That’s the general idea behind Microsoft’s patent application.

Dear Descendent:

I’m still dead. Heaven’s pretty cool, but hanging out with Bill Gates really sUX0rs. He was lot more fun when he had his money, lol. Now all he does is tell math jokes and complain about how all the computers up here only run on OSX. Confucius is a riot, a real party animal, but I never understand what the hell he’s talking about. Siddhartha always has to explain it to me.

Well, that’s it for now. Creep you out later,

Your Really, Really, Really Old Grandpappy.

P.S. I’m right behind you.

P.P.S. Just kidding! Ha! You jump every time.

Officially, the idea is to preserve information on physical artifacts so that those in the future, even future civilizations, could have a nice link to the past. According to the application, this could be:

. . .a tombstone, urn, and/or memorial as the physical artifact that symbolically represents the remains of a person and/or animal and the like. Another instance utilizes a building cornerstone as the physical artifact to symbolically represent a building and/or other structures and the like. These instances allow a user to interact with the immortalized information to learn about the entity represented by the artifact.

But that’s not all. Future archeologists also get:

. A series of capability layers that interact with the immortalized information, providing additional features such as interactive models, holographic imaging, video, audio and/or other forms of sensory information.

Google’s working as we speak to come up with an ad technology for it, called DeadWords, which consists of contextual ads that “listen” to the message and serve up relevant, localized, and “futurized” text, audio, and video ads.


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