Technology, NFT: is the metaverse bringing us closer to immortality?

The Brook is a metaverse recreating 1990s Brooklyn, frequented by The Notorious BIG Image: Courtesy of Burst and Surreal Events

Ffrom shopping to listening to a concert through the administrative procedures, the metaverse is full of possibilities. His latest function is to interact with the avatars of deceased musicians like The Notorious BIG. And while the initiative may seem unusual, it could herald a future in which internet users can communicate with those who have left this mortal world.

Immortality is a theme regularly explored in science fiction, most notably in Greg Egan’s 1994 novel, “Permutation City.” The Australian novelist imagines a future where it would be possible to save all the neural connections of the human brain and make them work in a virtual environment. The wealthy use this technology to make digital copies of themselves and become immortal.

Reality seems to have caught up with fiction thanks to the metaverse, this digital double of the physical world populated by avatars of anonymous people and celebrities. Snoop Dogg and Paris Hilton have theirs, just like The Notorious BIG The New York rapper, murdered on March 9, 1997, at the age of 25, will be reincarnated in the form of a hyperrealistic avatar.

This new incarnation of the legendary musician will inhabit The Brook, a metaverse recreating 1990s Brooklyn. It was created by start-ups Burst and Surreal Events to allow music lovers to immerse themselves in “the world of one of the most all-time great MCs, The Notorious BIG “Step into his world and experience old school Brooklyn and the roots of hip hop culture in ways you never imagined,” the site reads. official of the initiative.

The Brook will officially launch at the end of the year, although fans of The Notorious BIG will be able to preview it by purchasing NFTs or tickets from Ticketmaster. These non-fungible tokens, which will go on sale on June 3, will also give them access to exclusive services related to this metaverse, such as virtual concerts.

A road to immortality?

It is highly likely that other deceased musicians will be brought back to life in the metaverse. Some, like Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson and Ray Charles, have already been temporarily resurrected using holograms. This technology was notably used in the spring of 2012 during the closing concert of the Coachella festival. On this occasion, the late American rapper Tupac performed two songs alongside his former brothers in arms, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre.

If we could, for a long time, imagine that the use of holograms would become widespread in the world of entertainment, it remains rather marginal. The reason for this is probably the very high cost of such performance. The two songs on stage with Tupac cost between $100,000 and $400,000 to produce, according to MTV News.

Using an avatar is much cheaper. Count 0.18 Ether (about $353) for one of 6,888 virtual models from “The Guardians of Fashion”, a modeling agency based in the Metaverse. This investment can be recouped by having these next generation virtual models perform in virtual fashion shows or music videos.

From a modeling career to attending a dead musician’s concert, the possibilities seem endless in the Metaverse. So much so that some people are beginning to see it as a path to immortality. This is the case of Artur Sychov, CEO and founder of Somnium Space. His father’s sudden death from cancer inspired “Live Forever”, one of his startup’s future features. The principle is simple: users will be able to store their movements and conversations in the form of data on the platform, then duplicate them to make an avatar of them. He would talk, behave and think like them, even after they were dead.

For Artur Sychov, this method could be used to create a realistic copy of a real-world individual. “Literally, if I die – and I have this data collected, people can come in or my kids, they can come in, and they can have a conversation with my avatar, with my movements, with my voice,” he said. he told Vice magazine. “You’ll meet the person. And you might not know for the first 10 minutes talking to that person that they’re actually an AI. That’s the point.” But would that be enough to recreate an individual’s consciousness? Find out in the future.

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