The Five Dimensions of Digital Immortality: Data

What data is necessary to create a digital persona? Which data is sufficient? Obviously, these are questions about a moving target. As we gain experience in creating digital personas, we will learn better ways of answering these questions. However, other, more practical, questions remain. If you want some help with your projects or or have a request like "Could you write my discussion post for me?", don't hesitate to reach our editors for more information.
        If you wish to become a digital persona, whose view of you best represents you? How you appear to the world is largely a function of other people's perceptions. Notwithstanding, it's simply not practical when creating a digital persona to gather input from the whole world, even that portion of the world knowledgeable of the person. So, clearly, if the person who is the source of the digital persona is still alive, then that person's wishes as to how he or she would like to appear to the world must take precedence.
        On the other hand, if the data from which the digital persona is to be created is voluminous, then we cannot expect the person to process it all. Some of it will have be presented as raw data, e.g., a lifetime of notebooks. Of course, how much of such data is used depends upon the other dimensions of Accessibility, Presentation, and Interaction.
        In fact, how any data is to be used to create a digital persona depends greatly on how it is presented and to what degree such data will be interactive. All of which pales in comparison when addressing the fundamental question of bandwidth as a part of the dimension of Accessibility.
        And yet none of these considerations is static. The Digital Immortality dimension of Time affects all others. The questions of how much data and from what sources must take into account that the other dimensions of Digital Immortality will change over time. Even the simple approach of acquiring as much data from as many sources as possible with the intention of storing it until it can be fully utilized is inadequate. For example, will provisions be made for each digital persona to acquire additional data as it becomes available?

Back to the Five Dimensions summary.

  1. Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications
  2. Digital Personas
  3. Research

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Last updated 3/11/06

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