A chilling episode of the Twilight Zone that first aired 60 years ago was about a young boy (played by Bill Mumy) who frustrated his parents by insisting that he talk to his grandmother on a daily basis on the toy phone they had given him just before she died. When his grieving and irritated mother finally picked up the phone to throw it away, she was shocked to hear her mother's voice on the line.
The episode touched on the desires we all share to speak to a loved one who is no longer with us for the last time.
When a recently disclosed Microsoft patent comes into being, we can see, hear and talk to family members long ago. Or rather, with 3D moving images, complete with realistic speech reconstruction and different personality traits, collected from a wealth of individual communication across social media platforms. In short, a chatbot.
"Creating a Specific Person's Conversational Chat Bot" is the dry but accurate title of a patent filed in 2017 by Dustin Abramson and Joseph Johnson Jr. from Microsoft and approved this month.
The patent states that the chatbot may use information collected from social media posts, images, voice data, electronic messages, written letters and other personal data provided by the individual or others acting on the individual's behalf to talk and communicate in the personality of the specific person. "
Users could chat with the deceased, ask about memorable events in their lives, or simply call to say they love them. They can do this through a cell phone, desktop computer, or with personal assistants such as Alexa or Siri.
During a conversation with the chatbot, if a user asks a question for which little or no concrete data is stored, AI and machine learning processes are used to construct logical and likely answers. According to the patent, this could be achieved by relying on crowd-based perceptions and psychographic data.
Previous voice recordings in conjunction with speech synthesis would be used to create a "voice font", and collected images, even if only in 2D, could be converted to 3D motion based on depth information extracted from old photos. ; s has been passed.
Advanced models on the road can allow users to talk to a person at different ages, like a spirited youngster starting a new career or a wise elderly person thinking about a whole life.
The idea of bringing the dead to digital life is not new.
Michael Jackson "performed" at the Billboard Music Awards 2014, five years after his death, thanks to emerging holographic technology.
CGI renditions of Peter Cushing & # 39; s Grand Moff Tarkin and Carrie Fisher & # 39; s Princess Leia continue to appear in Star Wars movies. And the recently completed war movie "Finding Jack" stars a CGI-enhanced James Dean, the teen idol who died in a car accident in 1955 at the height of his popularity.
Last fall, Kanye West gave his wife, Kim Kardashian West, a hologram of her late father, a lawyer in the infamous OJ Simpson murder case. The father with the hologram "spoke" to Kim about her decision to become a lawyer and carry on his legacy. (Not surprisingly, it also offered lavish praise for Kanye, "the most, most, most, most genius man in the whole world.")
Microsoft's proposal differs from those examples. It would be the first time to equip a bot with data gathered from social media data.
The idea has stuck in technical circles. Eternime.ai strives to keep a digital copy of you for future generations. AI avatars armed with participants' memories and stories connect to social media accounts and wearable devices that allow them to engage in conversations with family members.
Likewise, Her After AI conducts extensive interviews with individuals and constructs a digital storage bin of information that can be accessed by family members in the future.
The chatbots are not limited to family members, according to the patent. They can be a & # 39; friend, a family member, an acquaintance, a celebrity, a fictional character, a historical figure & # 39; or even & # 39; any entity & # 39; to be.
The concept certainly raises ethical questions. Without clear permission to use specific types of data, who will set the boundaries of what personal data and images are appropriate to use, possibly for eternity? What accuracy checks will take place? And what about "deep forgeries" in which realistic avatars are produced by political enemies or criminal enterprises trying to fool the intended audience?
All we know is that if a child or other family member of yours is chatting on a cell phone with a deceased family member or friend, there is no reason to be alarmed anymore.
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Microsoft patent allows us to chat with the deceased (2021, January 25)
retrieved January 25, 2021
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