Via Jonas Lamis at the Singularity Institute blog, Adam Sarner issues some predictions on life going virtual and how your personal online agent will help you interact with a virtual world.
If you are not familiar with the idea of what he calls a “persona bot,” think of it as a virtual mini-you. You tell it what sort of filters to apply to the world, and it finds things that you want to see. You already have much of that functionality in parts: spam filters get rid of e-mail you do not want, ad blockers remove ads you do not want, feeds bring you blog messages you do want, Amazon recommends other books or movies you might like, Google Alerts runs searches for you automatically. There are dozens of competing sites that want to help you find the next thing that might interest you based on your current preferences. Combine all that into one virtual agent who gives you an info dump when you check in; if it makes mistakes, tell it what to do differently.
This sort of thing reminds me that everyone needs to read Permutation City, and I need to read more Greg Egan generally. If you have other citations to contemplations of our virtual future, comments are open.