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A new reality: dialoguing with the deceased thanks to artificial intelligence

The episode of Black Mirror where a widow communicates with her late husband using technology seemed like pure science fiction to us. Yet innovative companies are pushing the boundaries of what we thought possible by using artificial intelligence to enable conversations with our lost loved ones. This advance raises complex and profound questions about our near future.

A revolution in our perception of death

American and South Korean companies are revolutionizing our understanding of death by using artificial intelligence to enable conversations with the deceased. This advance constitutes a true digital renaissance, but also raises ethical and psychological questions.

How does it work?

The principle is simple: throughout our lives, these technologies collect a multitude of data such as SMS, videos, photos, writings, habits, tastes, interests and purchase history. This information is then processed by artificial intelligence to create a realistic avatar of the deceased.

From messaging to video

Over the years, the industry has evolved rapidly, moving from simple text messages to audiovisual communication. The South Korean company Deepbrain stood out with its “re;memory” project which gives a face, a voice and even facial expressions to the avatar of the deceased.

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Beyond video: a tactile experience

The American company Somnium Space goes even further by adding a touch dimension to the interaction. Its “life forever” offering offers a virtual reality experience allowing users to touch and interact with the avatar of their deceased loved one.

Ethical and psychological issues

Technological advances raise ethical and psychological concerns. According to Laurence Devillers, professor of artificial intelligence at Sorbonne University, how far will we go? Doctor Christophe Fauré, a bereavement specialist, warns that this technology could disrupt the natural grieving process and lead to psychological disorders.

A niche market at the moment

Currently, the adoption of these technologies remains limited, making it difficult to accurately assess their impact. Companies like Microsoft have obtained patents for similar technologies, but have yet to release products. Development managers at Deepbrain still consider this sector to be niche.

Conclusion

The digital renaissance raises profound questions about life, death and the afterlife. As technology advances, it is essential to consider the ethical and psychological implications. Whatever our opinion on the subject, one thing is certain: the future of grief may well lie in the digital world.

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