Last Updated on July 6, 2021 by MyGh.Online
Humans can live forever as chatbots – as predicted in an episode of the TV sci-fi series Black Mirror eight years ago.
Boffins reckon the technology used to answer queries on customer service websites could allow people to achieve immortality.
Bots can mimic individuals by storing up a vast cache of things they have said and done.
After the person has died their AI persona will live on.
That will allow friends and family to carry on chatting to their late loved ones for generations.
The real-life development mirrors the plot of a 2013 episode of writer Charlie Brooker’s hit TV show.
In it, a character called Martha – played by Hayley Atwell – communicates with a bot imitating her boyfriend Ash – actor Domhnall Gleeson – after he is killed in a car accident.
Developers believe digital bots will become more lifelike with advances in artificial intelligence allowing them to keep evolving long after their inspiration has snuffed it.
Personalised bots are already being sold to people who want to leave a legacy.
On the website Hereafter AI – which allows people to record their life stories for posterity – a woman called Rose writes: “My family will always have the ability for me to answer their questions so that my memories can last forever.”
Californian company Replika offers users a digital companion that steadily learns how to mimic them. Six months ago Microsoft filed a patent detailing a plan for “creating a conversational chatbot of a specific person”.
Usually, chatbots are created with as broad a persona as possible.
But it was also possible to train one “to converse in the personality of a specific person,” the company said while stressing it had no plans to use the patent.
David Burden, of UK-based AI company Daden said bots are trained to take on a personality using the person’s speech, writing, emails, and text messages.
“We embed it into a thing called a knowledge graph. Everything they mention is a node on that graph,” he said.
David said he could imagine the technology being used to send replica astronauts to distant stars or by tycoons keen to maintain control of their empires after their deaths.
“If Elon Musk or someone like that puts money into it they could probably get there sooner,” he added.