Advancements in the tech sphere can be downright creepy sometimes, as evidenced by a new patent filed by Microsoft that hints at them developing a chatbot that can emulate people who are already dead.
Akin to something out of a sci-fi plot waiting to go wrong, the chatbot – should it ever be created – will be A.I.-driven and based on the profiles of people, including data such as their images, voices, social media posts, and digital messages among others.
Using these bits of data, the chat would supposedly be able to then simulate human-like conversation via voice commands or text messages.
IMAGE: Business Insider
Things get slightly more creepy when you factor in that the patent also suggests the chatbot will be able to replicate the deceased via 2D or 3D models, all leveraged on “images and depth information, or video data” of individuals. The end product could be a chatbot that has near-identical characteristics and behavioral traits of someone already long dead.
“The specific person [who the chat bot represents] may correspond to a past or present entity (or a version thereof), such as a friend, a relative, an acquaintance, a celebrity, a fictional character, a historical figure, a random entity, etc.,” was the explanation in the patent. “The specific person may also correspond to oneself (e.g., the user creating/training the chat bot.”
Stranger than fiction.
If anything, such a technological development sits firmly within Black Mirror territory, even mimicking one particular episode called “Be Right Back”, where a woman engages with an A.I.-driven technology that imitates her recently-deceased husband and undergoes all sorts of untoward emotional duress as a result.
IMAGE: Basement Rejects
But forget fiction. Similar innovations are already present in the real world. Only last year, we saw a heartbreaking incident of a mother interacting with a virtual representation of her deceased daughter, complete with plenty of tear-jerking moments.
In other examples, Eugenia Kuyda, a founder of a technology company – used over 8,000 lines of text messages between her and her deceased friend to create a chatbot that mimicked her way of speaking, and a company called Eternime was reported to be testing an app that allowed users to create “digital avatars” of themselves when they pass on.
As for Microsoft’s unsettling patent, it remains to be seen whether or not anything becomes of it, and if the masses will be receptive to the idea of their dead loved ones being “reanimated” in such a way.
Some may claim psychological and emotional benefits from using such a technology (getting closure, or finding a way to finally let go, for example), but I’m not so convinced myself.
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ที่มา : Mashable