Essays on Infinite Lifespans
William Sims Bainbridge
ferentials: Bad-Good, Weak-Strong, and Passive-Active, for a
total of 46,000 responses. Naturally, I experiment on myself
in this research, as well as with the help of other people, and to
this point I have recorded my own personal answers to about
While I find answering questions fun, a kind of hobby,
in general people will need to be motivated to record them-
selves, so future attitude recording systems will be designed
to accomplish other things as well, such as psychotherapy
and advice-giving. Recently, I have written a program called
ANNE that runs on a small tablet computer that is easy to carry
around. ANNE stands for ANalogies in Natural Emotions, is
based on the 2,000 emotion stimuli, and helps the user orient
emotionally to incidents that occur in life.
Suppose I have to give a lecture to a skeptical audience.
I enter give a lecture to a skeptical audience into ANNE, then
click a number of buttons (or speak my responses, because
tablet computers have pretty good voice recognition systems),
rating this incident on all the emotions and other variables.
Immediately, ANNE compares my ratings with all the rat-
ings of the 2,000 episodes stored in the computer, identifying
which are most similar, so I can then contemplate what fun-
damental features they share and what strategies have worked
well in the past in similar situations. Used over a period of
years, ANNE would accumulate not only thousands of fresh
episodes, but also much more information about my reac-
tions to them than I would ordinarily remember raising the
paradox that a computer-generated duplicate of myself might
be more like me than I am actually like myself at any given
moment in my forgetful life.
Some quite prominent researchers in computer science or
cognitive science are developing other means to record per-
sonality. From one perspective, we are what we experience.
At Carnegie-Mellon University, from 1997 to 2000, Howard