This is intriguing; Dead On Second Life is an artisan project that explores the possibilities of autonomous avatars in Second Life that have been scripted to closely resemble real life famous artisans Franz Kafka, Coco Chanel, and Karl Marx. Their avatars have been made to look somewhat like their real selves, or at least to incorporate their main features. Speaking with one of them will provide dialogue that's a conglomeration of, apparently, everything the creators could find about them, including books, interviews, and letters.
This seems pretty Gibsonesque in its scope and application. Given the current state of both in-game and real-world AI technology, is this even a viable experiment? If the meaning of existence is that it stops, should be we trying to extend the life of past historical figures by making them 'live' again in virtual spaces? Has anyone bumped into these entities?