At time like this, I’m reminded of one of the more thought-provoking lines from the classic science fiction movie Jurassic Park, in which the broody, skeptical “chaos theorist” played by Jeff Goldblum rebukes the park’s owner a sharp and haunting observation:
And such is the concern for many Americans today, as our digital dimension continues to seep into our regular, IRL lives in ever more icky ways.
For instance, Microsoft’s latest concoction, which aims to bring your deceased loves ones back to life as chat bots.
Microsoft has been granted a patent that would allow the company to make a chatbot using the personal information of deceased people.
The patent describes creating a bot based on the “images, voice data, social media posts, electronic messages”, and more personal information.
“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”, it goes on to say.
“The specific person may also correspond to oneself (e.g., the user creating/training the chat bot,” Microsoft also describes – implying that living users could train a digital replacement in the event of their death.
Oh, and it gets worse.
Microsoft has even included the notion of 2D or 3D models of specific people being generated via images and depth information, or video data.
And, if you find this to be somewhat creepy, let’s not forget where we’re headed, as we sign away our personalities in the terms and conditions of our social media apps, and we allow companies like 23&Me access to our literal DNA.
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