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Microsoft Patents Chatbots That Imitate Dead People Using Real Images And Voice Data

by : Daniel Richardson on : 22 Jan 2021 11:18
Microsoft Patents Chatbots That Imitate Dead People Using Real Images And Voice DataPA/Netflix

Technology often improves our quality of life, but a new patent secured by Microsoft may allow it to preserve us after death.  

Microsoft has secured a patent that will use your personal information to create a chatbot when you die. In order to create the eerie chatbot, the company will access ‘images, voice data, social media posts, electronic messages’.

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On top of the chatbot, the patent also includes the possibility of 2D or 3D models of specific people that are collected from video and picture data.

Microsoft Patents Chatbots That Imitate Dead People Using Real Images And Voice DataPA

The patent from Microsoft explains how this technology would work:

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

The specific person may also correspond to oneself (e.g., the user creating/training the chat bot.)

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While some may see a benefit in setting up a chatbot for their families after they are gone, others may think that the idea is best left alone. It is worth noting that at the moment this is only patented technology rather than a reality that is on the horizon.

It is unclear how effectively a computer can mirror your messages and interactions. On top of that, the way we speak changes over time and it may become clear that the chatbot is a relic of a past life as references and discussions change. However, some may see the technology as an opportunity to impart some wisdom after they have died.

person on laptopPexels

There is a distinct possibility that before the technology drifts into the macabre, celebrities and characters will be replicated using the new design. In this instance, interactions may be more light-hearted and allow for engagement with media.

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Whether Microsoft can achieve this tech or not, it is a sector that is growing. A company called Luka has used 8,000 lines of text to try and create a conversation with a deceased friend called Roman. Unfortunately, the company has only created ‘a shadow person,’ but it seems that the technology is becoming more useful.

The industry of creating chatbots with information about those who have passed is growing, but it will likely have ethical and technical issues to overcome before it becomes widespread.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Daniel Richardson

After graduating from university, Dan went on to work with a variety of tech startups and media outlets. Through working with the likes of Game Rant, The Hook and What Culture, Dan pursued his interests in technology. The skills he picked up along the way are now being utilised with UNILAD.

Topics: Technology, Microsoft, Tech

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    Microsoft Files Patent to Create Chatbots That Imitate Dead People