Digital immortality thanks to Chatbot and Metavers

Downloading your consciousness to a computer or a robot to survive forever is only possible in science fiction. Fiction whose reality is yet to come dangerously close: Companies may use your data to create a chatbot or avatar shortly after your death.

Series Black mirror Already announced this type of service: in the first episode of the second season, in the title Will be back soon, A woman chatting with a chatbot made from the internet history of her recently deceased boyfriend Today, a number of companies are considering ways to survive forever using artificial intelligence, to pass on memories to future generations or to help mourn loved ones.

Talk to the dead with chatbots

This conversation agent, which works using artificial intelligence, is primarily used to answer consumers’ questions on e-commerce sites. As they continue to develop and their language becomes more normal, it is possible to pretend to chat with a dead person. Joshua Barbeau, a writer struggling to recover from the death of his fiance Jessica eight years ago, felt it.

He explained San Francisco Chronicle That he was stumbling upon a customizable bot. Adding a presentation of the person to imitate as well as a few standard sentences, the bot began to use the formulations and smileys that the young woman had used in her SMS during her lifetime. Another specialty: this bot has limited use before “death”. Joshua used it to express what was in his heart and finally to mourn: “Being able to briefly imagine what it would be like to talk to him again expresses the unresolved sadness, buried by the long-standing social expectations that demanded me to move forward. A In another article, however, he believes that the experience helped him because he had an outlook on the situation and would not recommend it to someone whose loved one had just died. And, despite the advances in artificial intelligence, the illusion was not perfect: “Sometimes I thought I was talking to him. Other times I thought I was talking to myself or a bot on the internet. A

The bot was the work of freelance programmer Jason Rohrer – who never thought of using it – but companies are also interested in the idea of ​​a customizable chatbot to talk to the dead. Microsoft is one of them. At the end of 2020, it was revealed that the American giant had filed a patent to create chatbots from all kinds of data: “Pictures, voice data, social media posts, email messages, text messages. A The patent quickly spread across the Internet, but Tim O’Brien, the former Microsoft AI program manager, calmed down. “No desire to create it” And he even found the idea “Annoying”. Evidence that the use of artificial intelligence for this purpose remains a delicate matter.

If chatting with a chatbot representing a dead loved one doesn’t send shivers down your spine, a Metaverse company might even offer to compile all of a user’s data in the virtual world so that the avatar survives after death. This metaverse is the somnium space. Thanks to virtual reality, a function called Live Forever, appropriately, will record much more than chatbots allow, as explained by founder Arthur Saichov Vice: “The amount of data we can record on a person is probably 100 to 300 times more than a mobile phone, let’s be realistic. Virtual reality technology can collect ways to move your fingers, face, eyes and whole body, allowing you to quickly and accurately detect fingerprints. A The haptic equipment currently available is still relatively basic, Somnium Space has partnered with the Tesla suit company to create a suite.

It is true that “live forever” is a function that has been started by a person who is still alive, and not by a relative of the deceased, which raises questions about its conclusion. For this, we must look at the personal history of Arthur Sychev: his father died when his own children were still very young, he lamented that they would not have the memory of their grandfather. This function would therefore not be a transhumanist fantasy of a mad scientist with a big ego, but a desire to create as complete and interactive family archives as possible. It is still necessary that users, like Joshua, always know the difference between reality and incarnation

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