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21 Feb 2013

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57570265-1/liveson-twitter-ghost-keeps-tweeting-when-youre-dead/

LivesOn: Twitter ghost keeps tweeting when you're dead

"When your heart stops beating, you'll keep tweeting," promises an app that will learn your likes and simulate your personality.

The salmon mousse: Monty Python imagined the Grim Reaper at a dinner party. Does Death do social media?

(Credit: Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET)

Death is never popular, even in social media: the poor guy behind @death on Twitter has zero followers.

You might think your online fans will lose interest when you kick the bucket, but an upcoming app says it will let you keep tweeting from beyond the grave.

LivesOn will host Twitter accounts that continue to post updates when users shed this mortal coil.

Developers claim the app's artificial-intelligence engine will analyze your Twitter feed, learn your likes and syntax, and then post tweets in a similar vein when you're gone.

You'll become an AI construct, a proverbial ghost in the machine.

The app will launch in March, according to Guardian News. People who sign up will be asked to appoint an executor who will have control of the account.

Similar postmortem Twitter apps, such as DeadSocial, have only used prepared tweets, not updates created by an AI.

"It offends some, and delights others," Dave Bedwood, a partner at the ad agency behind LivesOn, was quoted as saying in the Guardian report.

"Imagine if people started to see it as a legitimate but small way to live on. Cryogenics costs a fortune; this is free and I'd bet it will work better than a frozen head."

Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.



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