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How to monetize uploaded consciousness?

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In 2039, our company was the first to bring a safe and reliable solution to upload someone's mind to the cloud. Although it was 10 years ago, you probably remember the news, don't you?
We guaranteed that your mind would be able to wander through the artificial world for at least 50 years.

The thing is, back then we made a calculation error. We priced the mind upload based on the calculated costs of running the servers ten years ago. We forgot about inflation.

Also, a leak of our technology 5 years ago created competition. We cannot shut down the competition: we lost a lawsuit recently, because already dead people would die ... like, again.

There is still demand for our services, but the stakeholders want us to generate more profits. How are we going to do that?

  • We are afraid to increase the cost of mind upload, because it's already a really luxury item, and our competition has comparable prices to ours.
  • About 80% of the minds on our server spent all their money just to be there. Their physical bodies are dead, so they really don't need anything more than we just provide to them. So we think running some ads to our mind cloud is useless.
  • The current version of the "mind cloud" is a simulation of a tropical getaway luxury resort. We think there is no way to create a "VIP pass" for the remaining 20% who still can spend money.
  • Uploaded minds can communicate with each other (just imagine half century old classical movie called The Matrix but just positive, where you know you are inside of it). Other than that, every uploaded mind has their own e-mail address to communicate with outer world. Because e-mail access was free, we are afraid to put price tag on it

We generate some profit, but we are not really growing. Are we doomed?

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This post was sourced from https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/110269. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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We give the minds some hobbies to do

We have lots of people who have literally nothing else to do than think. That will probably be boring for quite a few of them. Why don't we put them to us-... I mean, why don't we just give them something to do that will benefit everyone?

A couple researchers will probably want to research further. Let them brainstorm a bit together. It's not like they really need a lot of sleep anymore (there are not many new inputs to their virutal brains), so they can wor-... do their hobby nearly 24/7. They can still learn, they can still invent stuff, they can still talk to other human beings if we give them an interface.

We have lots of people who can do all sorts of mental tasks and have literally nothing to do!

It would be enough to have a couple programmers in our cloud and let them write some stuff for us or just support our own engineers. They can directly interact with the software. No need for a delay in thinking-typing. No need to switch between mouse and keyboard at any point! No illness that could make you pay for people who just can't work for some time. No mental illness, because you can simply patch their virtual brains and get them to interact with an incredible number of other brains. And they already have lots of experience to begin with - they spend some money getting into your cloud after all. Literally no distractions if they don't want any!

So. Much. Productivity!

Make advertisements in the real world that you can simply upload your mind to increase your productivity a lot with this and give them a chance to for example use some of their salary to support their families. A bit of cost for uploading their minds for us, a little fee that we regularly pay someone, but an immensely productive and motivated programmer who can spend his short break in a virtual paradise each day.

There are enough people out there who will want to help us... And a few who may not want to help us but will soon realize that it's better to help us once you are in our cloud - because every virtual paradise can be made into a virtual hell with only a couple mouseclicks...

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