Recording Your Life

An idea that I keep coming back to is that of recording your life. With the advent of digital cameras built into smart phones, and social media, we are capturing memories and sharing them like never before. As technology advances, and cheap, high-capacity data storage becomes available, new possibilities emerge.

If we consider a maximum possible lifespan of 120 years - How much storage would be required to record our entire life as a video?

If you have a healthy life balance, you will be getting 8 hours sleep per night, which leaves 16 hours of awake time. Let's say that 1 hour of video can be compressed down to a 1 GB video file - so that is 16 GB per day. 16 GB x 365 days a year = 5,840 GB per year (Let's call it 6 TB per year). 6 TB x 120 years is 720 TB.

A 6 TB hard disk currently costs around £120. So that equates to £10 a month. For £14,400 you could store 120 years of video footage of a persons waking hours. There would be additional costs when you factor in that these hard disks won't survive for 120 years and will need to be transferred onto newer media along the way.

With voice recognition software, it would be possible to transcribe all your conversations into a searchable text document. Imagine - a text file of every conversation you ever had. Artificial Intelligence technology is also advancing - and it is not inconceivable that a good simulated approximation of you could be made if an AI was given the video and transcribed text document of your life. The simulation of you would be able to predict what your probable responses and preferences would be, given to any future situation that might arise - even beyond your lifetime.

This is a way for you to potentially go on living beyond the death of your physical body. The simulation of you may even be able to inhabit a humanoid robot which may resemble you. This seems like some very far-fetched futuristic possibility, but in fact all of the technologies required for this already exist today. In time, as these technologies become cheaper - it will be feasible to record your entire life and have a simulation of yourself. In light of this, some new questions arise.

Would your life be worth recording? Would it have a value for future generations beyond as a historical document or be a mild curiousity to a distant future relative of yours?

Maybe it would be useful to create a clone of yourself through this method. Your clone could be taking some of the burden away from you, performing certain tasks. You could be working as a team, or your clone may act as a companion.

Beyond this - it may also be possible to merge multiple people into one simulation - An aggregate of knowledge and experience spanning many lifetimes, locations and situations. The wisdom of many - rolled into a single entity. It is pretty mind-blowing! The future is certainly going to be fascinating if we humans manage to keep developing at our current rate.