Live Forever with a Digital Avatar – Clone Yourself with Lifenaut

In an episode of British mini-series, Black Mirror the main character recreates her husband as a robot after he dies, exploring the future of technology.  According to, this walking automaton looks like him and talks like him, and it even acts like him, after plugging into his Twitter account and analyzing every tweet he ever sent.

Yes, that’s a far cry from reality, but it’s not as far as you might think. With an online service called Lifenaut, an operation called the Terasem Movement Foundation offers a means of digitally cloning yourself through a series of personality tests and data from your social media profiles. The idea is to create an online version of you that can live forever, a digital avatar that even future generations can talk to and interact with. Eventually, Terasem wants to transform these avatars into walking, talking robots — just like on Black Mirror. And today, it provides a more primitive version, for free.

The tech world is always looking for ways to lengthen lives. Just this month, Google unveiled a company, dubbed Callico, that seeks to cheat death. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has long sponsored anti-aging research though his Ellison Medical Foundation. And PayPal co-founder and Facebook investor Peter Thiel has thrown money towards Aubrey de Grey and his longevity studies.

Terasem is just taking this idea to a different extreme, hoping not merely to lengthen lives but to permanently preserve consciousness. It’s an extension of what Microsoft researcher Gorden Bell is doing with his LifeBits project, where he creates a digital record of everything he does.

First, you upload your photo to Lifenaut, and it uses this image to create an animated avatar — complete with blinking eyes and moving lips. Then you teach the service about yourself, answering a long list of questions and taking a few personality tests. And, yes, you connect the service with your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts, creating a time capsule of your social media data that the Foundation hopes will further mold the personality of your avatar.

Read more and see and interact with an avatar, here.
Are you afraid of dying? Will you do just about anything to extend your own life?

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