How do you know that email correspondent you've never met is an actual person? You assume so, because an interactive digital persona is highly unlikelytoday. But once technology has achieved Turing-class personas, an interactive digital representation of a real person is only a matter of time and the progress of technology.
Why pursue an artificial interactive persona if technology will someday be able to preserve an actual person in digital form? The uploading of a human mind to a computer and the downloading of that mind into a human-like robot (android) may be possible someday. But why not preserve as much as we can using the most advanced technology we haveand to continually improve that representation and its interactive capabilityuntil someday arrives.
People will say the future of digital immortality, like any technology, is only limited by our imagination. In fact, it will be limited by the same things that limit any technology: costs, supply, demand, competition, collusion, and control. In other words, by the strengths and weaknesses of the larger economic system.
We can wait, and hope, for a digital immortality that preserves us as we are, a simple transformation of ineffable mind into immortal soul. In the meantime, DII suggests we keep seeking small practical steps, continually enhancing the best possible representation of ourselves in digital form. That foreseeable future is an interactive digital persona.