Among many other moments of wonder, we are told in this essay that:
By virtue of digital technology it is possible to self-replicate one’s mind wholly apart from the DNA-driven partial replication of one’s body (aside from cloning, babies are a blend of two people’s largely similar but subtly unique genes). For example, the entirety of one’s digital life –- all of our photos, emails, web searches, music, videos, chats, texts, documents, links and downloads -– could be archived in cyberspace and animated with a sophisticated chatbot. It will not be difficult for advanced artificial intelligence (AI) programs to ferret out and replicate the unique personality that is woven through our digital reflections. Now, provide that chatbot, running our personality program, with self-replication capability and our inherent Natural Selection bred drive to self-replicate could be satisfied just for our minds.
I don't think that word "possible" means quite what some people seem to think it does…
It actually matters that there is no actually existing "digital technology" that I ever heard of by means of which one can "self-replicate one's mind."
Nor is there any actually-existing cloning, "aside from" which one properly compares human sexual reproduction at this particular time.
No one has a "digital life" in the first place "the entirely of which" is archivable in cyberspace (also, not a real space, I suppose I am forced to add, given present company), thereupon to be "animated" by a "chatbot," however "sophisticated." This matters.
Second Life is not life. Your avatar is not you. Neither are you a picture of you. This stuff really matters, you know.
I guess I could concede that should hypothetical instantiations of non-existing not even particularly conceptually coherent current notions of "artificial intelligence" eventually come into existence it may indeed be possible that that particular non-existing not presently-possible non-thing may also cause other presently non-existing not presently possible non-things to be marginally more existing or possible as well. Who on earth can say? What on earth is any of this supposed to mean?
It matters. And of course, that's the point. That's what makes a futurologist "serious" in the first place, I suppose.
For myself, I prefer making contact with such fancies by way of science fiction writers who have been playing around with these notions already for generations, and in ways that can reasonably be expected to be accompanied by interesting plots, arresting characterizations, compelling settings, and rarely require that I confuse fiction with fact or skylarking with policy analysis.