In our previous publication, we examined in detail the concept of digital resurrection, the history of its implementation development, and the role of AI avatars in this domain as the most advanced solution to date.
Today, we continue to explore the topic, delving into the intricacies of digital resurrection use cases and considering the ethical consideration it raises. So, let’s get started!
Virtual Immortality in Practice: Use Cases
As AI technology continues to evolve, society continues forging a path toward a future where the line between the virtual and the real becomes increasingly blurred, so the potential for AI copies of deceased personalities will also undoubtedly expand.
Below, we’ll consider three compelling aspects of digital resurrection which are already widely used today and explore how AI is reshaping the way we perceive mortality and the preservation of human heritage – from renowned celebrities to cherished family members and inspiring leaders.
AI Virtual Copies of Deceased Celebrities
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in creating virtual copies of deceased celebrities is a growing trend within the entertainment industry. While true resurrection currently remains out of reach, these digital personas offer a unique way of preserving and engaging with the legacies of iconic figures from various fields, such as history, cinematography, politics, music, and beyond.
One of the most popular and relatively long-standing ways of virtualization (if speaking specifically about famous people’s “resurrection”) are holograms, which allow making “live” performances with the departed celebrity moving, acting, singing on a stage, or even shooting in a cinema. Being enhanced with AI, such digital counterparts that look and sound like beloved public personalities can establish a captivating visual and auditory connection with fans. This provides the audience with an opportunity to relive the unforgettable emotions and return to the time when they could admire their idols alive.
Moreover, it allows future generations to experience the energetic and spiritual impact of famous individuals who made significant contributions, even if they were not yet living during their heyday. This way, technology opens doors to rediscovering the essence of past celebrities and extends their influence far beyond their lifetimes.
Another type of famous people’s embodiment is resembling their personality in chat-bots and AI avatars – such an approach gives fans and enthusiasts an unparalleled opportunity to get to know a celebrity closer and unveil them as a person rather than a public figure. Through simulating the conversation and answering questions, digital counterparts of notable people can shed light on lesser-known aspects of their lives, share their thoughts and motivations, bridging the gap between the known flashy image projected and their true selves. This newfound closeness fosters a profound fans-idol connection and a more nuanced appreciation of their contributions and accomplishments.
AI Representation of Late Family Member
The loss of a loved one is undoubtedly a challenging and emotional experience. For those who can hardly get over it, artificial intelligence technology offers a potential avenue to connect with their deceased relatives in unique ways. Through the use of chatbots, human-like avatars, and virtual reality experiences, AI is able to mimic the visual and auditory presence of a departed, providing comfort and support during the grieving process.
Such avatars can be used in VR environments, allowing people to interact with digital representations of their late cherished relatives in immersive settings, designed to recreate memories and experiences shared with the deceased. For example, a virtual reality environment could be crafted to remind a family vacation or a special event, allowing individuals to revitalize these reminiscences and feel a sense of connection with their late loved ones.
And with the GPT (Generative pre-trained transformer) module integrated, such digital representations can handle a meaningful dialogue drawing on a preliminary integrated knowledge about the person’s life, character, interests, and so on. By immersing themselves in such digital experiences and engaging with AI-driven “resurrected” virtual copies of the passed family members, their relatives may find solace, closure, and even a chance for healing.
Digital Embodiment of Passed Organization Leader
There are indeed numerous individuals who have made significant contributions to specific fields but may not have gained widespread recognition. These unsung heroes, such as creators, founders, and ideological inspirers of brands and companies, who put their hearts and souls into the work of their life, also deserve to have their legacies perpetuated and their accomplishments honored. To achieve this, AI avatars can be created to represent these deceased individuals, emphasizing their professional achievements rather than their personal lives. This allows their leadership spirit to endure and remain alive, preserving their work for future generations.
For instance, one approach is to implement an AI digital company ambassador based on the founder’s likeness and employ it as a customer service assistant on a company’s website. Such virtual representation, being the first point of contact for visitors, fosters familiarity, trust, and continuity, as clients start their acquaintance with a company by virtually meeting the person who holds significance in establishing the organization’s missions and values.
As one more option, an artificially intelligent copy of an esteemed leader can be placed in a head office hall as an informative interactive stand, featuring a digital representation of a passed leader. This living testament to the company’s legacy can personally welcome guests and assist them with basic inquiries, creating an innovative and memorable greeting that embodies the corporation’s heritage and its core principles.
Or, it can even serve as an interactive exhibit in a company’s museum (if such is established), engaging with visitors and narrating the company’s history, sharing interesting stories, and conversing with them as if in person. Such an interactive encounter fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of the company’s patrimony for employees, customers, and other stakeholders. It helps to bridge the gap between past and present while preserving and celebrating the path traveled towards the corporation’s accomplishments.
Ethical Considerations & Implications
Despite the prompt progress of artificial intelligence in the field of virtual immortality, society has not yet decided whether it is ethically correct to use the image and voice of people after their passing. Though it can offer relief and healing for those suffering from grief, for some people it may feel discomforting and unnatural to see and hear a non-alive person. Also, interacting with a virtual copy of a deceased close one can hinder the natural healing process by creating an artificial substitute and preventing acceptance of loss. All in all, the potential emotional and physical impact of such “meetings” opportunity is very individual and depends on the person’s psychotype and thus can’t be unambiguously defined.
In addition, there is no unequivocal opinion on the appropriateness of using the deceased individual’s likeness and private data (required for AI model training) without their permission. From one perspective, it can be argued that obtaining consent from the deceased person before creating a virtual representation is ideal. However, since the trend of massive digital immortalization is still quite “young”, the reality is that the majority of people do not consider or address the use of their personality in a digital context during their lifetime. In such cases, determining whose authority should be sought after the person passes becomes a challenge – would it be the immediate family, close friends, or the wider public who admired and celebrated the departed individual?
The absence of explicit consent or clear guidelines creates ethical dilemmas and legal intricacies. It appeared to be pretty complicated to find a balance between respecting the rights and privacy of the deceased and the desire to honor their memory and contributions to society.
Still, there is a high probability that the approach of crafting virtual interactive “portraits” of the departed will be a common thing in the not-too-distant future. That means that leaving the voice and image samples for AI synthesis could become a norm, on a par with composing a will or taking a photo in advance, so that the problem of obtaining the appropriate permissions will resolve itself.
Considering the ongoing development of AI, it is conceivable that virtual human counterparts may become increasingly sophisticated, providing more nuanced and realistic interactions and offering new ways to honor and remember the departed. Researchers and experts anticipate that the technology to build convincing digital surrogates of the deceased will become increasingly mainstream within the next decade, redefining our relationship with the concept of mortality.
We at RAVATAR are also following this trend, offering a service of designing digital resemblances of your late beloved ones in the form of intelligent AI-driven avatars. If you’d like to discuss recreating your close person who passed or have a wish to preserve your own legacy in a virtual environment – write to us, we are open to implementing any of your ideas!