The concept of eternal life, or the overcoming of death, has long captivated humanity, challenged philosophers, and contributed to the proliferation of religions. Artists, too, have engaged with this idea, as evidenced by the rock group Queen (“Who Wants to Live Forever”), the BritPop band Oasis (“Live forever”) or Taylor Swift (”I Don’t want to Live Forever”).

Art holds a unique connection to the concept of Eternal Life, as we often believe that artists’ works ensure their own immortality, at least within the collective memory.

And while Hollywood and Bollywood producers are already imagining eternal life in the digital era (think of series such as Upload, DEVS or the 2nd season of Westworld), the digital industry is already bringing the initial projects for “Digital Eternal Life” to life.

The music scene is leading the way in this innovation. For instance, the band KISS, which has a 50-year legacy, recently concluded their final tour in New York. At their last performance, they introduced digital avatars, signaling the beginning of the next chapter in the band’s history.“The avatars of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer are to take over the band’s shows in the future, as is already the case with Abba. This means that the legacy of the band, which celebrated its 50th birthday this year, can be continued for all eternity (…)”, … could be read at Heise Online.

“For the avatars, the movements of the four band members were scanned with motion capture suits. (…) The avatars shown represent the Kiss musicians as a kind of superhero version of themselves and are intended to make it possible, for example, for the band to give concerts on three continents at the same time in the future. They also made sure that the band lives on, because ‘it’s bigger than us,’ Paul Stanley says in a promotional video. The following video provides a glimpse into the direction this journey is taking:

Other bands where digital avatars play a role are ABBA (see the article Abba Voyage: Abbatare premiere in London) or K-Pop launch Mark Tuan (he has had a digital twin created for fans to talk to). The following video on YouTube takes a look behind the scenes and explains how the digital avatars of ABBA were created:

The avatar industry is not new (consider “Second Life,” “Roblox,” and others), but AI technology is injecting it with new energy. Those keeping up with AI developments are aware of its potential to mimic voices, create entire videos featuring digital characters, and generate texts in the style of specific individuals. Just last fall, Facebook promoted chatbots “in the style of” Paris Hilton or Snoop Dogg. Zuckerberg: “It’s not just going to be about answering inquiries,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s about entertainment and helping you connect with the people around you.”

Have you ever heard of so-called grief tech companies? These are companies / start-ups such as HereAfter, Project December, or AI technology enables the recreation of deceased individuals as digital copies. Bereaved relatives can chat, make phone calls, or even have video conferences with digital representations of their departed loved ones, as if they were still present. These technologies, known as “grief tech,” are designed to help people cope with the loss of a loved one. Unsurprisingly, this practice has sparked numerous critical opinions, which are discussed in the following FAZ article: Becoming immortal with artificial intelligence


The author is a manager in the software industry with international expertise: Authorized officer at one of the large consulting firms - Responsible for setting up an IT development center at the Bangalore offshore location - Director M&A at a software company in Berlin.