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Living On in Memory: Grief and AI

Life After Death: The use of technology to cope with grief may be on the verge of something great or novel. The ability to live on through artificial intelligence offers a new method of closure. Actually communicating with a clone of your loved one may be the newest and most potent form of grief therapy.

Info-Graphic: Words associated with grief on Crisis Text Line.

Dadbot: This man wanted to preserve his father’s memory, so what did he do? He made an AI version of his father.

Other News: Is Brittney back? Apparently she is, as she intends to release a memoir detailing her life. Missouri is infringing on the rights of trans persons through a new emergency law. Is Zion Williamson ready to play Basketball again? Food influencing sounds fun but is the reality as fun as the fantasy? One journalist makes the case for cutting twitter usage and even references NPR as an example.

Brain Fog

Some people choose to remember their loved ones by keeping a voicemail or a keepsake. Others today and in the future will choose holograms, chatbots and virtual reality. Technology aims to make it so one day we may not even need to say goodbye. Freethink showcases three methods of technically cloning subjects with technology, key word here being technically instead of literally.

The first technique uses a platform referred to as Project December. The program claims to simulate the dead. The platform works by inquiring questions about the subject’s loved one’s personality and lifestyle. It poses questions about the deceased’s personality, circumstances surrounding their lives and even a quote from the deceased to be better frame their identity. Lastly it asks for $10 to compile and simulate the subject with a chat bot. The chatbot uses tech similar to the popular ChatGPT platform.

The next method, StoryFile asks “What’s your story?” The program combines both video and something called “conversa” AI which in brief is a conversational AI meant to simulate human conversation. First the user must answer the questioning of around 2000 questions and record their persona on video. The organization then compiles the video into a versatile hologram or video. The platform cycles through the 2000 questions with the language model and selects the best response based upon the questions answered. This method is little more expensive ranging from $49 to $499.

The third option is the platform that plans to resolve the age old conundrum of having to say goodbye. Somnium Space offers a virtual reality portion of the metaverse with a mode called live forever. How it works, factors in the recording of data and information from a willing participant. The platform creates a separate entity or “clone” of the participant. The concept focuses more on the persona of the deceased, housing an imitation of the identity and forever preserving the likeness of the subject. The medium employs the use of a user created avatar and videogame like simulation of real life.



Crisis Text Line

This figure highlights the top 35 words associated with grief or bereavement on the Crisis Text Line. The text hot line referred to by texting the word HOME to 741741 presents an option for chatting with professionals who can help with crises of all kinds. The website collects and compiles data toward the ambition of preventing mental health crises. As we can see, one trend in the infographic represents loved ones such as friends, family, mom, dad, and so on. Another concept shows duration of a timeline. We see this trend through the words anymore, always, ago, years and more. Then we also see the descriptors of quality such as the words good, bad, hard, better, etc. At best this gives a glimpse toward exactly what people suffering from grief think about when they face their hardest moments.


James Vlahos, a journalist by trade took it upon himself to ask and record his dying father questions about life. However, he wasn’t looking for any major revelations or inspiration. He wanted to preserve his memory. At first he recorded an oral history on a tape recorder and then had it professionally transcribed. During the process he developed a passion for artificial intelligence and so naturally he wanted to combine his talents. He ventured toward the process of adapting his father’s memory for modern technology. He can text the AI questions or conversational topics and the bot responds with relevant and lifelike material. He valued the process because he got a chance to both celebrate and familiarize himself more with his father’s life. The dadbot as a chat format does still have some issues but altogether Vlahos’ deep dive into his father’s life really helped him honor his father’s memory.

Other News

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Trans Health Missouri: An emergency Missouri law may be seriously restricting Trans health care of both adults and minors.

Mind Of Zion: NBA player Zion Williamson believes he is physically ready to return but possibly not mentally. After suffering from a series of injuries he wants to offer his best to the team and at this point he may not be sure that’s what he can give.

Food Influencing: While being a food influencer may seem fun, there’s another reality that may take away the intrigue.

Twitter Detox: This journalist found that pulling away from social media, especially Twitter as NPR did, made for a more enriching life.

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