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AI startup allows people to converse with their deceased loved ones

AI startup allows people to converse with their deceased loved ones

There's a growing trend for AI companies looking towards the afterlife.

AI can make mundane tasks a whole lot easier - whether that's writing emails or doing research for a school project.

But it can also be used for some far more momentous things - like a bunch of artificial intelligence (AI) startups that are using their specialized tech to recreate loved ones who have died.

Take Vocofy AI - a Chinese company that recreates the voices of people who are no longer able to speak.

Qi Yang / Getty
Qi Yang / Getty

Professor Lee Tan, an associate dean of education at the engineering faculty of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, runs Vocofy AI.

According to Tech Times, he said he would normally refuse requests to recreate voices of dead people due to ethical issues, but was approached by a family that had lost their mom and was moved by their story.

They gave their permission for the recording of their mother's voice to be used, and AI reportedly came together to let the daughters see and hear their late mother's response to a letter they had written.

And this isn't the only example of AI letting you 'speak' to people who have died.

Other startups include HereAfter AI - set up in 2019, it says it 'guides your loved ones to audio record stories about their childhoods, relationships, experiences, personalities, and more'.

Essentially, the aim of HereAfter AI is to have you answer loads of questions before you pass away, banking hours of audio, which can then be listened to by those you leave behind.

The company StoryFile goes one step further, and captures people answering various questions on video before they die.

StoryFile says: 'Imagine if you could video record yourself answering questions, so that future generations can talk to you - and you can talk back.'

Amanda Edwards / Contributor / Getty
Amanda Edwards / Contributor / Getty

StoryFile has some famous fans, too - actor William Shatner, best known for playing Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, is an ambassador for the AI company. He's used it himself, and has answered nearly 600 questions on camera for StoryFile.

AI means StoryFile is designed to work like you're having a conversation with your loved one - even if they're no longer alive - rather than just watching a video of them.

As you can probably imagine, these types of companies are hugely dividing opinion. While some see it as a beautiful way to stay in touch with friends and family who are no longer alive, others argue that it's dystopian and just a bit creepy.

Featured Image Credit: Qi Yang/Yuichiro Chino/Getty