In 2017, Microsoft revealed it had patented a “chatbot” that could digitally resurrect the dead if actually built.
The chatbot uses AI and machine learning technology. Essentially, the chatbot would bring our “digital persona” back to life. Friends and relatives could then talk to our “digital persona.” When the media asked Microsoft about the technology, the company’s representatives did admit that it was “disturbing” and claimed there were no plans to put it into production.
Believe that if you will.
Personal data? Check. Voice data? Check. Lifelike AI? Check.
The technical tools and the personal data are already in place to make these digital resurrections possible. AI chatbots have already passed the “Turing Test,” which means that they have been able to fool other humans into thinking that they (the AI bots) are human.
Globally, most people leave behind enough digital footprints to inform AI programs about their and our conversational idiosyncrasies. Even more convincing chatbots are just around the corner from being released.
Microsoft’s version of the chatbot would use your electronic messages to create a digitally reincarnated version of you, in your likeness. It would use machine learning to respond to text messages like you would have done when you were alive. If you leave behind especially rich voice data, your vocal likeness could be created, giving your friends and relatives someone to speak with through a phone or even a humanoid robot.