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ABSTRACT. The concept of digital immortality has emerged over the past decade and is defined here as the continuation of an active or passive digital presence after death. Advances in knowledge management, machine to machine communication, data mining and artificial intelligence are now making a more active presence after death possible. This paper examines the research and literature around active digital immortality and explores the emotional, social, financial, and business impact of active digital immortality on relations, friends, colleagues and institutions. The issue of digital immortality also raises issues about the legal implications of a possible autonomous presence that reaches beyond mortal existence, and this will also be investigated. The final section of the paper questions whether digital immortality is really a concern and reflects on the assumptions about it in relation to neoliberal capitalism. It suggests that digital immortality may in fact merely be a clever ruse which in fact is likely to have little, if any legal impact despite media assumptions and hyperbole. pp. 178–196

Keywords: digital immortality; identity; legislative conundrums; neoliberal capitalism

doi:10.22381/KC52201711

MAGGI SAVIN-BADEN
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University of Worcester, UK
DAVID BURDEN
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Daden Ltd
HELEN TAYLOR
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University of Worcester, UK

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