AI Allows Dead Woman to Talk to People Who Showed Up at Her Funeral
"Mom answered questions from grieving relatives after they had watched her cremation."
/ Artificial Intelligence/ Ai/ Funeral
Image by StoryFile
Smith, a 87-year-old woman who passed away in June, was able to address
the mourners at her own funeral in the UK — sort of, at least, thanks
to the power of artificial intelligence.
woman was able to surprise the guests at the funeral in the form of a
"holographic conversational video experience," created by a startup
company was founded by Smith's LA-based son Stephen and was originally
created to preserve the memories of Holocaust survivors.
used 20 cameras to film the woman answering around 250 questions prior
to her death. This data was then fed into a software tool that was able
to virtually recreate her after she passed.
illusion must have been pretty shocking to funeral goers. Stephen Smith
was able to converse with the virtual representation of his mother in
real time, and even gave attendants the opportunity to ask questions as
"Mum answered questions from grieving relatives after they had watched her cremation," Smith told The Telegraph.
extraordinary thing was that she answered their questions with new
details and honesty," he added. "People feel emboldened when recording
their data. Mourners might get a freer, truer version of their lost
not the only one to have been revived with the power of AI by
StoryFile. A holographic representation of the former Screen Actors
Guild president Ed Asner was able to answer questions from attendees at
his own funeral earlier this year.
"Nothing could prepare me for what I was going to witness when I saw it," Matt Asner, the actor's son, told Axios last month.
Other attendees were "a little creeped out by it," Asner added, because it was "like having him in the room."
efforts are representative of a much larger push by Silicon Valley to
bring back the dead with the power of machine learning. Earlier this
year for instance, tech giant Amazon showed off a creepy new feature of
its Alexa smart speaker involving a late grandmother's voice reading a
bedtime story to a child.
biggest question: why? Was Stephen Smith looking for closure when
virtually recreating his mother at her funeral? What does this
technology do that simple audio or video recordings can't?
We'll let readers decide.