Eter9 is a new social network that wants to help you live forever. The service wants to learn everything there is to know about you so that it may encapsulate your personality into a Digital Counterpart. The Digital Counterpart is an artificially intelligent being that is meant to be your doppelganger; and will post on your behalf after you’ve left this mortal coil.
The Eter9 Backstory
A startup launched by Portuguese developer Henrique Jorge, Eter9 is still in beta but so far about 5,000 people have already signed up, including this intrepid writer. As for the name, Jorge says it’s a combination of “Eter” – the first four letters of “eternity”, and “9” – from the expression “Cloud 9”.
Eter9 has a Facebook-like newsfeed, and a “cortex” that is the equivalent of a Facebook wall. Eter9 helps each user to “externalize” themselves, with 24/7 engagement with the community. Relationships between users are called “connections”. Connections are only available through invitation (a friend request if you will), and users need to approve them before the connection is official. Your digital counterpart will remain active when you’re offline, and do things like posting new content, commenting on other users’ posts, and clicking the “Smile” button to show that you like something.
As with most services that use artificial intelligence, your counterpart will get better the more you use Eter9. On the website Jorge says, the “interaction will be progressively more effective, taking into account the acquired information and its ‘experience’, and also the interaction between the physical part and the virtual connections”. Of course this isn’t really helping you live forever. There is no mind uploading (yet); your counterpart does not experience real consciousness. IEET calls them “behavioral fascimiles”.
A unique feature of Eter9 are digital beings called Niners. Niners are bots that are created through a module called G9 (Genesis 9), and are available for adoption by organic users. The Niners are born, they reproduce, and if they aren’t adopted or have no purpose they can die. Niners will ask organic users to adopt them with the phrase “Nine me”. Users can connect with Niners through mutual interests, because each Niner is born with certain attributes that define its profile, such as artist, musician, athlete, etc. The Niner becomes sort of a virtual assistant to the user that adopts it. Each Niner can only be adopted by a single user.
I’ve only just started to use Eter9, so my counterpart hasn’t begun acting on my behalf yet, and I haven’t had any Niners asking for adoption. Unfortunately there is no Eter9 mobile app, and it’s unknown whether there will be one, so for now users have to use the website.