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AI Allows Mourners to 'Talk' to Dead Relatives

By    |   Tuesday, 04 June 2024 11:44 AM EDT

Artificial intelligence is enabling families to communicate with relatives who have died via their "saved" voices.

When Michael Bommer, a startup entrepreneur, was terminally sick with colon cancer, he wanted his wife to have a way to "interact" with his voice after he died.  

Bommer linked up with Robert LoCascio, CEO of the AI-powered legacy platform Eternos, to build "a comprehensive, interactive AI version" of himself, The Independent reported.

Eternos said its technology will allow Bommer's family "to engage with his life experiences and insights."

The company utilizes an in-house model as well as external large-language models developed by major tech companies like Meta and OpenAI, and records users speaking 300 phrases. It compresses that information through a two-day computing process that captures a person's voice.

Users can then train the AI system by answering questions about their lives, political views, or aspects of their personalities.

The AI voice, which costs $15,000 to set up, can answer questions and tell stories about a person's life without regurgitating pre-recorded answers. 

Bommer told a journalist that he has been feeding the AI phrases and sentences "to give the AI the opportunity not only to synthesize my voice in flat mode, but also to capture emotions and moods in the voice." 

Eventually, the AI voice will sound more human-like and even more like himself.

Several companies have sprung up in a growing space for grief-related AI technology.

California-based StoryFile enables people to interact with pre-recorded videos and uses its algorithms to detect the most relevant answers to questions posed by users. HereAfter AI provides similar interactions through a "Life Story Avatar" that users can create by answering prompts or sharing their own personal stories.

"Project December" is a chatbot that directs users to fill out a questionnaire answering key facts about a person and their traits — and then pay $10 to simulate a text-based conversation with the character. Seance AI offers fictionalized seances for free. Extra features, such as AI-generated voice recreations of their loved ones, are available for a $10 fee.

Matthias Meitzler, a sociologist from Tuebingen University, said that while some may be taken aback or even scared by the technology — "as if the voice from the afterlife is sounding again" — others will perceive it as a complement to traditional ways of remembering dead loved ones, such as visiting the grave, holding inner monologues with the deceased, or looking at pictures and old letters.

Peter Malbin

Peter Malbin, a Newsmax writer, covers news and politics. He has 30 years of news experience, including for the New York Times, New York Post and Newsweek.com. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Artificial intelligence is enabling families to communicate with relatives who have died via their "saved" voices.
ai, artificial, intelligence, dead, talk, voice
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2024-44-04
Tuesday, 04 June 2024 11:44 AM
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