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Swedish Funeral Agency Plans To Use AI To Let Grieving People Chat With Dead Loved Ones

The chatbot will communicate as if it were the deceased person.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get another chance to communicate with someone we have lost? That’s what a funeral agency in Sweden hopes to give to people but not in the way you think.

Fenix, a Sweden-based agency, is looking to create artificial intelligence that can offer comfort to grieving people by giving them the chance to talk to dead loved ones. While it would be an interesting thought to be able to speak to “fully conscious copies of dead relatives,” Fenix’s mission is to develop a chatbot that contains files of the deceased and make them seem like the actual person.

Swedish funeral agency Fenix is looking for volunteers for the chat bot project.

The chatbot will be powered by AI to comfort grieving people who lost their loved ones.

There have been reports relaying false information about Fenix’s goal. In some news outlets, it was stated that Swedish scientists are trying to develop androids that will serve as “clones” of deceased loved ones. However, Fenix is not trying to achieve that feat but will, instead, upload information about the dead person. This chatbot will then communicate as if it were the person by analyzing the way that person talks through uploaded information, like emails, texts or how he/she interacts on social media.

The project started out when Fenix CEO Charlotte Runius realized people can’t actually tell that their current chatbot — used to answer people’s questions about the funeral services — is not a real person. Runius then thought that a similar technology can be used to offer mourning relatives the comfort they need and the chance to be able to speak to deceased loved ones.

Runius emphasized that the AI is not fully conscious, as falsely reported by some news outlets.

The Fenix CEO wants to clarify that the chatbot cannot learn new information but rather only rely on the information provided. For instance, one cannot chat about a new movie that has just been released. While most people can only rely on videos and photographs to remember loved ones by, Fenix’s technology hopes to take this to a new level.

Chatting with a loved one through a program may make moving on more difficult.

There may be emotional implications of having a chatbot posing as someone from the past. Runius said she will still have to discuss the matter with the Swedish Church. Some would argue that communicating with a loved one through a chatbot will only make the process of letting go harder. Others, however, agree that the chatbot will provide comfort. Runius explained:

“For example, for an old man who has lost his wife and feels very lonely it may be worthwhile to chat with the bot online, even if he knows it’s not really her.”

The chatbot for mourning relatives is only capable of communicating through text. This is the reason Fenix is looking for volunteers to share speech samples so the program can also use voice mode that makes the bot sound like the deceased person. In the future, Fenix hopes to incorporate images as well.

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The Boring Company finally rolled out Not A Flamethrower at a celebrated pick up event held at the company's headquarters. People who had pre-ordered the gadgets were given a chance to sample the power of the flamethrower on unfortunate marshmallows. Although safety was reinforced during the event, things took a dangerous turn once everyone got home.

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finds Ancient Organics On Mars, Possible Life On Planet In The Past

The new discovery might confirm life thrived on the Red Planet billions of years ago.

Curiosity has made an exciting discovery on the surface of Mars. The rover has just found possible evidence of life on the planet billions of years ago. NASA might not quite ready to confirm that creatures once roamed the Red Planet. Nevertheless, the agency believes that the findings could mean positive things for future missions.

The NASA rover has found organic molecules in sedimentary rocks near the planet's surface. These molecules may contain hydroxen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen and are usually associated with life. However, their presence in the billion-year-old rocks does not confirm life on Mars just yet.

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