Companies like Eterninme and Replika are at the forefront of creating digitized representations of individuals after death that can still be interacted with. Simply feed in enough text logs and whatever other data, and their algorithm will spit out a chatbot that can be ‘talked to’ matching the personality and characteristics of the originating human. Individuals are getting into the game, creating their own bots with the text logs they have with a person using machine learning to construct an identity and conversation traits of a person. This digital reincarnation is happening now and relatively accessible.
Visually too, we have seen an increase in the number of people being reconstructed and made to ‘perform’ heedless of what the original living person the image comes from or their family would have wanted. Tupac and Amy Winehouse have been brought back from the dead, turned to holograms and sent on tour. Following their deaths, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and a few Star Wars characters were digitally reconstructed so their final movies could be completed. Each time this has happened, there have been major discussions about the ethical concerns and rights of the dead and their estates to their images, but it hasn’t stopped technologies being used for reconstruction purposes. As the living today build vast digital profiles of ourselves, nearly everybody has enough content online for these 3D renderings as well as vocal reconstruction.
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