2025: hackers figure out how to backup consciousness on digital storage
2026: silicon valley startups "invent" backuping consciousness on digital storage and market it to the 1%-ers -- the software is closed source
2030: hackers access the backed up consciouness of several high profile people, found on an unsecured S3 bucket, but they are encrypted
2031: a 0-day vulnerability in the consciousness backup protocol is disclosed by independent researchers but is left unfixed by the software maker as it is too expensive to fix -- instead, the company goes on full damage control with the media
2034: the decryption key for all backed up consciousnesses is accidentally discovered within a de-assembled binary -- it appears to be a single AES256 symmetrical key that has been in use since the first version of the backup software
2034: an unprecendented breach occurs at one of the main backup storage facilities in the US. The hackers pretended to be external consultants and were allowed to roam unsupervised. Backups of the consciousness of thousands of affluent and Forbes-worthy customers are said to have been obtained by the criminals
2035: a seemingly authentic data dump of the previous year's haul is found on a dark web virtual disk. The decryption key for the backups having been found, it is theoretically possible to spin up the consciousness on compatible hardware.
2036: the 0-day vulnerability discovered a few years ago is again reported still in active use by malicious actors, and more individual backups appear on the black market. A class action is started against the backup service provider.
2037: specs for consciousness-compatible hardware surface on anonymous message boards. It's easy and cheap, and the backup may theoretically run on a decent cluster of old raspberry pi 5.
2037: The same year, hacking groups demonstrate a first working rig, running a 2032 backup version of Elon Musk; they call the rig Elonatron.
Elonatron expresses dismay and bafflement through its 18x4 LCD panel, apparently demanding to see their lawyer.
2038: as more recent backups are captured and put on the black market, obsolete versions lose value and are often put up for free on anonymous boards. Their legitimate owners (the live person which should have owned the backup) fight to have them taken down but the process is too slow, and the copies are replicated everywhere on the internet.
2038: a prefab consciousness-running rig is put up for sale by a chinese company. There is coordinated international pressure to outlaw the rig, but the efforts go nowhere as China refuses to back down. Rich countries condemn but do nothing more.
2039: celebrity consciousness becomes a sought after commodity in the field of pesonal companionship: some websites spin up and train backed up celebrities to behave according to certain criterias, depending on the wishes of the customer: docile Jeff Bezos, feral Elon Musk, angsty Richard Branson... Some celebrities are known to be reluctant after being spun up, but specialist trainers often overcome this initial hurdle.
2040: a marketplace for celebrity backups emerges, and backups go for sale according to rarity and freshness: a 2032 Elon Musk is now considered low-tier, but a 2039 version is still very rare and expensive.
2041: a trend for pitting spun-up backups in online battles emerges as one of this year's favourite e-sports events. Avatars for backed up celebrities are spawned in a virtual arena, and they fight to the death. Participants train their backed up celebrity with enhanced combat software that was declassified by the DoD a year before.
2042: the class action reaches its conclusion and live celebrities that have been affected by the ongoing security flaws surrounding the backup process win a collective trillion-trillion (a trillion²) dollars in damages. The backup service provider goes out of business, putting an end to the backup-up-your-mind fad that had started about 16 years before.
This leaves the celebrity-battle community in disarray: without a constant stream of updated backups, the community must now solely rely on mods to bring about variety on the market. Celebrity consciousnesses are now customised, fused or spliced and diverge away from their live counterparts in exotic ways.
2044: a fully synthetic android sporting a consciousness rig is photographed and discussed on hacker boards. In honour to the original consciousness spin-up of the Elonatron, a 2032 version of Elon Musk (the same version as Elonatron) has been spun up in the android.
Elonatron 2 displays a similar reaction as the first one had back in 2037, and is bewildered to have been spun up in circumstances contrary to his wishes. Nonetheless, he manifests an interest to have somehow travelled 12 years in the future.
2045: more androids are built, along with more varied forms (animal-like, or whatever the makers wished at the moment), and this renews interest in the celebrity companionship business. Although highly illegal, it is frequent for people to have at least one inexpensive robot running an outdated, cheap version of some billionaire, trained to specifications. The police has long thrown in the towel to track down illegal spin-ups.
2046: the virtual celebrity battles have come to the physical world as combat androids are perfected and it's now possible to witness a 2034 steroid-hung Mark Zuckerberg dismantling a 2040 berserker Bill Gates. This is also most illegal, and therefore very underground.
2047: an android indiscernable to Elon Musk is created by an artistic collective comprising of computer hackers, makeup artists, dancers and theater actors. As it is now a meme, the 2032 Elonatron firmware (now opensource) is loaded and the first carbon copy version of Elon Musk comes to life as Elonatron 3. The organic Elon Musk thinks it's cool.
2047: Elonatron 3 escapes. The online boards go wild.
2047: after a short android-hunt, Elonatron 3 is recovered. It appears that Elon Musk had no survival skills until at least 2032, so was easily subdued.
2048: after it emerges that Elonatron 3 had been kept captive for months following its capture, charity groups campaign for its rights with the slogan: "If it walks like the Musk, and quacks like the Musk, then it must be the Musk"
2049: a human rights court rules largely along with the slogan, and recognises that Elonatron 3 is indeed Elon Musk. Organic Elon Musk interjects as his android doppelganger obtains legal access to all his possessions and accounts.
2049: the courts rule that in recognition to Elonatron 3 legally being Elon Musk, Organic Elon Musk must share all his possessions 50/50 with his machine double. Meanwhile, the two Musks' egos prevent them from reaching an amiable agreement.
2050: an anarchist hackers collective start manufacturing dozens of Elonatrons and releasing them into the wild. As they are captured by the authorities, the courts now must abide by the jurisprudence, and rule that the collective wealth of the Elon Musks must be equally divided between all live (organic and machines) Elon Musks.
The hackers keep on releasing rogue Musks in order to shatter their collective wealth. As the legal threshold to be an Elon Musk never reached having to be humanoid, cheap shells running the Elonatron firmware are released by the thousands, reducing the financial footprint of any given legally recongnised Elon Musk to almost nothing.
2051: seeing what befell Elon Musk, other celebrities now fear for their trust funds.
@codeforchaos That was exciting to read. I can totally imagine this being turned into a book series or a show.