Life is short and fleeting , we are told that many times throughout out life. There is no guarantee for tomorrow and not everyone makes it to certain age groups . With so many ways to die these days it is hard to really be certain that you have lived a life worth living. Many people are afraid of death, the single off feeling inside of their body will send chills and fears through their hearts. Many people want to live long, many people want to feel healthy but with illnesses such as Covid-19, Cancer, and other scary problems that may not be possible, a nagging shoulder issue could be a sign for lung cancer, a cough could be a sign of liver failure.
The loss of a loved one or leaving your loved ones can cause immense stress and pain and one company is doing all they can to counteract this pain with a new project on the metaverse that aims to keep you or your loved ones around long after you leave this plane of existence.
About 5 years ago ,cancer took Artur’s father away from him. He battled valiantly but in the end succomed to the incurable disease. Artur was devastated by the loss and he realized that the time that he did have with his father was limited, he wished for more. The fact that he would no longer see his father and that his small children would be without a grandfather hit him hard. He thought about how his children would enver get to know his father the way he did, would never get to speak to him, or gain any of his wisdom, he felt that it was a complete shame, then he came up with a plan for not only his father but for everyone that wants to live on long after death.
The metaverse has been constantly brought up lately, as web3 grows we continue to learn of all the wonderful things that can be created in this new space, this new imaginative world that will take us all in another direction, a new evolution of information and how it is presented. There are constantly new “versions” of the metaverse being created daily and each new project brings with it the promise of interactivity, interchangeability, more interoperability,and exchageability.
The death of his father fueld Sychov to develop his company Somnium Space. The project is not the first in idea but instead is the first to to already be compatible with virtual reality headsets for an immersive 3D experience. The developer and CEO decided on what he would call a “forever mode” to be implemented into this project.
Physically we cannot all live forever, though it may be the wish of many a man and the fantasy of others the thought of immortality is still something that we as humans have yet to fully realize. There were stories of The Fountain of Youth in our childhoods , movies made of immortal gods on our planet, and songs of life lived forever, all this and we have yet to truly make it to a realm of reality where we escape death.
Though we physcially cannot live past our unexpected expiration dates there are indeed companies and poeple who want to create things that may help us avoid being gone forever. There are talks of uploading our brains into an AI representation, thoughts of putting our consciousness into a robotic body, and many more sci-fi-like ideas. Sychov’s idea involves having a person’s movements, conversations and opinions stored onto an avatar , stored as data. The data would be used for the avatar to mimic that of the deceased individual, thus creating the ability to speak to your loved one long after they are gone from this plane. The goal of the project is or the user to be unable to discern the real person versus the artificial one.
Though currently the project is being touted with game features and land ownership, Sychov believes that the metaverse is about so much more than advertisement, brand building, selling products or NFTs, or even gaming. He believes the metaverse provides potential for so much more for humanity and the evolution of information as we see it. The amount of information that the metaverse will be able to store will far surpass that of traditional web2 applications and that amount of data will be useful in creating new worlds and opportunities for all in the future. Sychov went on to state how VR technology is a powerful tool and can absolutely be used for the creation of technology that can detect and identify a person with a 95% accuracy. In speaking on this ability he cited on study in October of 2020 that did exactly this. Sychov has also partnered with non-Elon Musk affiliated Teslasuit, which is a company that has developed a fully haptic full-body suit which would provide the user with sensations such as touch and feel when the virtual person makes contact.
The project will require the use of a lot of personal information so the user or “donor” would have to be willing to part with almost all aspects of themselves. How they speak, their sound, their movements and more would be collected as the data to create the avatar. With all the information collected the team at Somnium Space would then work to create an infinite mirror version of the user. The data would be used to build an AI that would be almost indiscernible from the original person. This all brings to mind the technology that was being used in Superman by a deceased Father Jor-el.
Somnium space is meant to be a place of rememberance and celebration of a person and their contributions to the lives of those that they love. Sychov lamented on Meta (formerly Facebook) being the face of the metaverse as he finds a company that sells information to advertisers and companies to be a terrible place. The company having all that information including VR of the person makes for a dystopian nightmare. By making a decentralized version that does not want to pry into you for profit he thinks he is creating a better version of the metaverse that can indeed be used to remember someone and not exploit them. Of couse nothing is free so there will indeed be a fee for the service which is currently aimed at $50 a year and that is mostly due to the costs of data storage and not for his own profit. The company will allow for the user to decide the amount of information used and when to share it, the user will be able to decide if something is deleted or added and not the other way around says Sychov.
Of course there will be other ethical questions that come along, but Sychov and his team are ready to face those with honor and dignity and will never take the low road. Live Forever mode is made to aid in remembering a person not use a person for profit.