Are we in a ‘Black Mirror’ episode? Apparently you can text the dead
Just like our favorite “Hollywood Medium” Tyler Henry, it looks like we’ll too soon be able to communicate with those who have passed, as it appears that Microsoft has officially filed a patent that would allow the tech company to digitally revive those we’ve lost into chatbots. Yeah, this totally feels straight out of a Black Mirror episode.
Like, what the actual f^@%? Did anybody ask for this?
The chatbox would supposedly have its own personality index that is based on the deceased person’s images & voice data. Look, we’re sorry. We miss our grandma’s cookies too, but unless this tech brings them back from the dead entirely so that they can bake up a fresh batch, then we want no part of this Black Mirror nonsense!
Return of the living dead
Microsoft is shooting for the stars with this one, attempting to shatter our very reality by creating an AI-based chatbot based on the personal information left behind of someone who has died. It is Microsoft’s belief that this chatbot will be able to simulate an actual conversation with someone through a series of texts & voice commands, compiled through a person’s social media data & audio recordings.
Even more strange is that Microsoft is even further suggesting taking this tech and producing 2D & 3D models of the specific person being reincarnated, possibly utilizing video data to help recreate the individual.
Forget an episode of Black Mirror. We’ve seen Disney Channel’s Smart House . . . we know this can’t end well!
Black Mirror comparison
For those of you who don’t know, Black Mirror on Netflix is an anthology series based in the realm of science fiction.
Every episode isn’t directly connected to the plot of the others, which is perhaps why the show has grabbed some top talent with stars like Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), Letitia Wright (Black Panther), Topher Grace (That 70’s Show), and many others lending their talents to this The Twilight Series styled show.
The series examines modern society, specifically related to the consequences of new & evolving technology, where perhaps mankind fell too deep in its own rabbit hole of curiosity.
There is a Black Mirror episode titled “Be Right Back”, the first episode of season two, which delves into the grief we experience after losing a loved one. The main character learns of a new tech that can replicate her deceased loved one based on his online presence over the years. The episode starred Hayley Atwell & Domhnall Gleeson.
While today’s tech continues to astound, it is with much contemplation that we ask the question: “is this ethical”? I mean, Jeff Goldblum said it best in Jurassic Park when he posed the question in regards to bringing back dinosaurs, stating that we’ve been “so preoccupied with whether or not we could, that we never stopped to think if we should.”
There is an extremely eerie factor to what’s taking shape, leaving us in a position to where we’re feeling more like Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense, rather than the excited child on Christmas morning that Microsoft seems set out to make us. Would anybody actually seek out this sort of tech and not feel weird about it? We suppose that maybe there’s an argument to be made in terms of finding closure & grieving, but still.
How do you guys feel about the AI-based chatbot that could possibly imitate the personality of a loved one who has passed? Do you think that there’s any question regarding the ethics of it that we haven’t mentioned? Comment below and let us know your thoughts.