The post was originally published in Polish on Artur’s LinkedIn profile. Artur kindly agreed that we repost what we think is of great value to our readers.
We are the first generation to live forever as AI constructs built on top of our data.
For the first time in human history, we are creating such an incredibly rich digital footprint – emails, comments, photos, all from numerous personal devices – all this is the perfect food to train an AI that will perfectly mimic our thoughts and words.
Soon enough, we will be living with our deceased loved ones as conversation apps.
Wouldn’t we like to talk to our loved ones to ask them for advice, find comfort, reminisce about nice moments spent together?
The Chinese company Fu Shou Yuan, known for its digital funeral services, in January 2022 began organizing funerals using AI technology.
The first funeral of this type was held in the presence of a Chinese surgeon, whose many colleagues and students were distraught that they could not say goodbye to him in person.
‘We hope to let the living understand that death is not the end of life. People want to use AI to recover the dead because they need to release their emotions,’ Yu Hao, head of Fu Shou Yuan, told Guangzhou Daily newspaper.
Some other funeral companies are even working on using AI to help people mourn their deceased animal companions.
The comment section is skeptical:
Exaggerated predictions. I understand the hype associated with the development of AI, and I follow this development with interest, but between creating an avatar based on a ‘digital footprint’ and ‘living’ with your loved ones after their death, asking them for advice, remembering together and broadly understood ‘closeness’ or ‘intimacy’ is a chasm. On an emotional level, it’s like comparing a Tamagotchi with Sartre. Naturally, someone wants to have their loved ones in the form of an animated shell, a substitute for someone close, but then I am reminded of the creepy case of dolls for mothers mourning their dead children – that is grotesque.
Arvind Narayanan from Princeton writes quite wisely on these topics – we pose questions about the dangers of AI wrongly, demonizing scenarios, but we also completely succumb to over-marketing about the possibilities that lie ahead. And this, unfortunately, is the domain of our professional bubble (broadly understood technology, entertainment, and technology startups).
– Lukasz Mach, Business Development Officer at The Dust S.A.
This is a little scary because it means that you can not only clone someone physically, but even copy their mind. Add this to such studies as scanning the brain to transfer the structure of its owner to the machine, the question of immortality is basically no longer a question.
– Krzysztof Oszmiańczuk, Service Delivery Executive at Hicron Sp. z o. o.
In fact, it will certainly develop. The question is, is it good? Acceptance and closure are important stages in our psychology. I am afraid that because of such solutions, many people will be stuck in the past and will not be able to come to terms with their loss.
– Jaro Noelle, Team Leader at MTA Digital
Kostiantyn is a freelance writer from Crimea but based in Lviv. He loves writing about IT and high tech because those topics are always upbeat and he’s an inherent optimist!