Looks like we’re heading for a real-life Black Mirror episode, as Microsoft applies for patents that might allow them to develop an AI that would allow people to ‘speak’ to dead relatives.
Recalling Black Mirror’s Be Right Back episode yet? Basically, as detailed in Charlie Brooker’s terrifyingly accurate dystopian series, the AI would take the digital relics left behind of a person and train a chatbot to mimic their manner of speech through data.
Therefore, it would make use of ‘images, voice data, social media posts, electronic messages, written letters.’ They are currently in the talks of creating a ‘2D or 3D model of a specific person’.
This isn’t exactly about replicated the dead though, it’s more about creating a chatbot that could ‘converse and interact in the personality of a specific person’ and ‘correspond to a past or present entity [such as] a friend, a relative, an acquaintance, a celebrity, a fictional character [or] a historical figure.’
Basically, you can have a smart assistant that sounds like Elvis Presley or a historical program pretending to be Albert Einstein…or just a passed loved one. Either way, it’s kind of fascinating.
However, there is no mention in the patent that the product will be landing in the market – but companies like HereAfter AI are already seeking to do something similar.
So, that’s nice, isn’t it? I mean, who doesn’t wake up and wish that the world could become more and more like an episode of Black Mirror?