Summary: If technology in a patent granted to Microsoft comes to fruition, interacting with a chatty 3D digital version of the deceased could one day become real.
Original author and publication date: Leslie Katz – January 22, 2021
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Let’s remember that the goal of several “new” technologies developed in the 19th and 20th centuries (including television and photography) was to communicate with the dead.
From the article:
An AI chatbot that lets you interact with dead loved ones sounds like something straight out of science fiction. But if technology in a patent granted to Microsoft comes to fruition, interacting with a chatty 3D digital version of the deceased could one day become de rigueur.
The patent, titled “Creating a conversational chatbot of a specific chatbot of a specific person,” details a system that would access images, voice data, social media posts, electronic messages and the like to “create or modify a special index in the theme of the specific person’s personality.” In some cases, images and video could be used to create a 3D model of the person for extra realism.
It’s an especially provocative notion when you consider the patent’s suggestion that the tech “may correspond to a past or present entity.”
The patent in 2017, but it was granted this month and has become the subject of online chatter in the past few days due to its suggestion of a chatbot that brings a “past entity” back to life as a kind of interactive living memorial. As jarring as the idea might seem at first, many who’ve lost a loved one will understand the comfort that can come from watching old videos of the deceased, or listening to their archived voicemails. Death creates an aching hole we long to fill.