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The Weekly Authority: Apple's Peek Performance

Grab a brew and catch up on the week's top tech news in a five-minute read or less.
By
March 12, 2022

⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 185th edition here, with Apple event news, Google’s app archiving feature, PlayStation’s latest State of Play games, and more.

📚I’m back from my book festival trip up north, laden down with a huge pile of books that I’m already getting stuck into. Weekend plans: sorted.

Popular news this week

Apple:

Samsung:

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Nothing:

Space:

Elsewhere:

Movies/TV:

Gaming:

Reviews

samsung galaxy s22 ports and sim slot
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Features

iPhone SE back crop

Weekly Wonder

upload season 2
Amazon

With season 2 of Upload landing on Amazon Prime this week, we got to thinking about a virtual afterlife. Could it happen? And how close are we to an Upload-type scenario?

For those who haven’t seen the show (no spoilers), it’s the creation of Greg Daniels (Parks and Recreation, The Office) and it’s set in the not-so-distant future (2033), where humans near death can choose to be uploaded into a specific VR afterlife, for a price. The show’s packed with other bits of futuristic tech too, from drone traffic cops to self-driving cars and robot cashiers.

Futurists have already picked the show apart and discussed the possibilities of a digital afterlife, where our minds live on even though our physical bodies are long gone. And Upload’s far from the first show to tackle the subject: amongst others, Black Mirror’s San Junipero episode looked at life in a simulated reality that could be inhabited even after death.

Could a VR afterlife actually happen?

Futurist Richard Yonck says most of the show’s tech is too futuristic compared to where we’ll actually be in 2033. “Even the most rudimentary technology is many decades away,” he said in an interview with Geekwire. Others have called the upload tech in the show “highly implausible,” like Berit Anderson, writer and director of programs at Strategic News Service:

“Even if we could hard-code our memories on some kind of oversized hard drive, how would you code your emotions, your sense of self, your personality?”

  • But “Mind uploading,” where a brain is scanned in detail and recreated in a computer simulation, essentially creating a new, immortal, digital form of that person, could actually be possible. The science of the brain and of consciousness increasingly suggests it’s a distinct possibility, with no laws of physics standing in the way.
  • But would your uploaded mind still be you? The Wall Street Journal has some interesting thoughts…
  • And there’s quite a lot to read on the complexities, technologies, and techniques that could be implemented.
  • Unfortunately, even though it’s possible, we could be hundreds or even thousands of years away from it ever happening.
  • Though there’s already at least one startup that’s been working on this idea since 2018… watch this space.

What would it be like to talk to “deceased” loved ones in a VR afterlife?

One of the things that made season one of Upload such a huge success was its focus on the human component. Yes, the characters have so much futuristic tech at their disposal, but really the heart of the show is about people and their relationships. Which got us thinking: What would it be like to interact with loved ones who now only existed in a virtual afterlife?

It might sound strange to say, but chances are it wouldn’t feel too different from the way many of us live our lives today.

  • More of us work remotely than ever before, and that means many of us have never actually met our colleagues in person, communicating with them through video and text.
  • Celebrities and politicians only exist through data to us.
  • Would communicating online with a virtual version of a loved one feel any different than interacting with them in a physical space?

With age comes wisdom?

Then there’s the question of what it would mean for the future workforce.

  • If people never truly die then there would be a wealth of knowledge out there for us to tap into.
  • Most “living” people in the “real” world would be younger. Older generations would exist in VR, and some could choose to still work from there.
  • In the future, many jobs requiring physical interaction, like driving a taxi, operating a grocery checkout, piloting a plane, etc, could be done by robots. But jobs that are all about the mind, such as teachers, journalists, researchers — even tech support — could be done by those who have had their mind uploaded to a VR afterlife.
  • It’s quite a thought!
  • It may also be that these uploaded minds could eventually rent a humanoid robot to spend some time outside their “virtual” world, in the “real” physical world.

Would you agree to be uploaded into a virtual afterlife? How do you think it would change the future? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments.

Tech Calendar

  • March 11 – 20: SXSW
  • March 15: Xiaomi 12 series global launch @ 7 AM ET
  • March 15: Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online launch for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X
  • March 16: Xbox Spring Indie Showcase @1 PM ET
  • March 23: Nothing event @9 AM ET
  • March 25: Ghostwire Tokyo released for PS5/PC
  • By end of March: OnePlus 10 Pro global launch

Tech Tweet of the Week

— Trung Phan (@TrungTPhan) March 10, 2022

Something extra: A startup’s proposing dropping artificial human organs from space. Wait, what?

Awaiting upload,

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.