For centuries humanity has been searching for the secret of eternal life without success, but a new social networking site is promising its users digital immorality.

Eter9 claims to learn about your personality as you share photographs, links and comments before continuing to post for you once you die. The site relies upon a form of artificial intelligence to create ‘virtual beings’ that can interact with other users. Each user will have a digital ‘Counterpart’ based on their previous posts. While the social network is only it Beta stage, it already has 5,000 people who have signed up to use it, although some have described the concept as ‘creepy’ and ‘spooky’.

Launched by Henrique Jorge, a Portuguese software developer, the concept appears to mimic the plot of the science fiction film Transcendence to some degree.

In the movie, artificial intelligence expert Dr Will Caster, played by Johnny Depp, uploads his consciousness onto a computer so he can continue to live after his death.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Jorge said: ‘We are trying to create an AI system that learns faster from other networks like Facebook, as the Eter9 information at the moment is quite small.’

A statement on the Eter9 website added: ‘This network has specificities which allow a human being to achieve immortality in cyberspace. ‘Eter9 makes it possible to eternalize the user and gives them the permanent ability to interact within the network 24/7 through an element called counterpart, which will be active even while the user is offline, both in terms of posting content and commenting.

‘The counterpart will also be responsible for the user’s eternal life. ‘The counterpart will absorb all the information according to the posts and comments, and process that information within the limits of the acquired knowledge.

‘The interaction will be progressively more effective, taking into account the acquired information and its ‘experience’, and also the interaction between the physical part and the virtual connections.’