People are turning to chatbot impersonations of lost loved ones to help them grieve. Will AI help us live after we’re dead?
The Guardian has a thorough story about the use of AI to evoke the dead, ‘It was as if my father were actually texting me’: grief in the age of AI. The story talks about how one can train an artificial intelligence on past correspondence to mimic someone who passed. One can imagine academic uses of this where we create clones of historical figures with which to converse. Do we have enough David Hume to create an interesting AI agent?
For all the advances in medicine and technology in recent centuries, the finality of death has never been in dispute. But over the past few months, there has been a surge in the number of people sharing their stories of using ChatGPT to help say goodbye to loved ones. They raise serious questions about the rights of the deceased, and what it means to die. Is Henle’s AI mother a version of the real person? Do we have the right to prevent AI from approximating our personalities after we’re gone? If the living feel comforted by the words of an AI bot impersonation – is that person in some way still alive?
The article mentions some of the ethical quandaries:
- Do dead people have rights? Or do others have rights related to a dead person’s image, voice, and pattern of conversation?
- Is it healthy to interact with an AI revivification of a close relative?