Next generation AI will Simulate Conversations with Departed, although artificial intelligence cannot revive deceased individuals, it has the capability to replicate dialogues with departed loved ones, providing a unique approach to help people cope with their loss.
Large language models, which are a type of AI trained on extensive amounts of text, have opened up new possibilities for innovative applications. The release of ChatGPT, an AI chatbot in recent years, has initiated conversations about the capability of this technology to imitate human conversation and react to human prompts.
Jarren Rocks is a product designer and manager at AE Studio, a software development company located in Los Angeles. He is currently working on a program called Seance AI. The objective of this program is to provide individuals with the opportunity to interact with a chatbot that imitates the mannerisms and conversational style of their deceased family members or friends.
According to Rocks, the primary objective of Seance AI is to offer a brief interaction that can provide a feeling of closure. The solution is not meant to be a permanent one. The program’s objective is to assist in emotional processing and closure by facilitating conversations.
The concept of contacting the afterlife has attracted mankind for millennia. In the late 19th century, when seances became commonplace, this interest peaked. Around this time, there were about 4 million self-described spiritualists in the United States. The New Yorker claims that Mark Twain, Queen Victoria, and other famous people attended seances and otherwise engaged in the occult.
However, a significant number of Americans and Christians viewed such activities with skepticism and disapproval. The Catholic Church issued decrees in 1898 and 1917 that condemned spiritualistic practices and prohibited seances.
Rocks intends to incorporate the enchanting element of AI technology, even though AI seances will only involve interactions with chatbots. He says, “Our goal is to craft an experience that is as mystical and enchanting as possible.”
According to Rocks, the program’s name, Seance AI, was intentionally selected by him and AE Studio because they firmly believe that it can offer solace to certain individuals. He is really worried about the future of AI and wants people to know about the risks associated with this technology. They do not support impeding the progress of AI but instead advocate for reasonable regulation.
Seance AI utilizes OpenAI’s technology, which is the same AI lab responsible for ChatGPT. The program requests users to provide specific details such as the name of the person they intend to communicate with, their age, personality traits, and the circumstances surrounding their passing. Users are encouraged to upload text samples from their deceased loved ones to assist the chatbot in emulating their communication style from when they were alive.
After uploading the information, users are redirected to a webpage that displays a flickering flame. From there, they can send messages to their simulated loved ones. According to Futurism, the chatbot generates a simulation of the deceased individual by utilizing the information provided.
Rocks has revealed that he has been contemplating the development of such technology since the advent of large language models. He and his coworkers at AE Studio have all suffered the pain of losing a loved one. He clarifies that his interest is not in exploring the afterlife, but rather in addressing the grief that we encounter during our time on Earth. Humans have been fascinated with the afterlife for a very long time. Although there are many technological solutions available for counseling and therapy to help people cope with grief, very few of them directly address personal loss.
The Seance AI program bears a striking resemblance to an episode of the TV series “Black Mirror” that depicts the creation of hyper-realistic synthetic versions of deceased individuals. Rocks explain that the program is not meant for frequent usage. He says that the chatbot seems quite human-like for brief conversations. If you have extensive interactions, you may notice repetitions and patterns that reveal the limitations of the system.
Rocks compare the program to a modernized version of an Ouija board, providing a means for achieving closure and emotional healing. He explains that a traditional seance is not a continuous activity. In my personal opinion, the concise nature of these interactions promotes a sense of closure and facilitates the processing of unresolved emotions for individuals. We recognize the possibility of future long-term applications and may consider adding extra features, such as an ‘AI ghost’ that can be accessed at a grave site.
The use of artificial intelligence to assist in the grieving process has become increasingly popular, with many different methods being investigated. DeepBrain AI, a technology company located in South Korea, has created a program called “Re; memory.” This program allows users to upload videos, audio recordings, and photos of deceased individuals to create a virtual version of them. This virtual version can engage in conversations with humans. Insiders reported that developers in China are currently working on “grief bots” which enable individuals to communicate with their loved ones who have passed away.
On Tuesday, Seance AI will launch with two tiers: a free tier for initial testing and a paid tier for users who require longer-term usage. Rocks and his team at AE Studio are dedicated to equipping individuals with resources to assist them in coping with grief. He emphasizes that his primary goal with Seance AI is to provide people with assistance in coping with their loss.
The advancement of artificial intelligence is creating new opportunities and transforming different facets of human existence. Seance AI raises ethical and philosophical questions, but it is a unique application of AI technology that aims to provide comfort and support during the difficult journey of grief.