Avatars Offer A Digital Afterlife To The Deceased

Avatars Offer A Digital Afterlife To The Deceased
technology gathers information about a person to create a chatbot that emulates their personality after they have passed away.

Daniela Walker
  • 4 february 2014

Technology has brought solutions to a lot of problems – but when it comes to death, it seems that nature always wins. Rather than beat death, there are startups aiming to sidestep it by creating virtual avatars of the deceased, allowing them to live on in the digital world.

Last year came LivesOn, the program that lets you tweet after you die. Now a group from MIT’s Entrepreneurship Development Program have created, a site which promises:

…a virtual YOU, an avatar that emulates your personality and can interact with, and offer information and advice to your family and friends after you pass away.

While there is not much information on – it has yet to launch – the website hints that it creates this avatar by compiling ‘almost everything’ you’ve ever created in your life and uses artificial intelligence and algorithms to recreate your personality after death. Seemingly, it will allow loved ones to ‘contact’ the deceased and have a conversation with them,  interacting with their memories. ‘It’s like a Skype chat from the past’ asserts the site.

Maybe. But maybe not. No matter how amazingly the AI can simulate your syntax and pull from your emails to recreate memories, it is still not you. ‘Simply become immortal’, says – except you’re not immortal, because despite all that technology can do for you, it cannot change the inevitable end of human life – at least not yet.



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