In what can be considered as the next step in the human quest for immortality, tech behemoth Microsoft has reportedly signed a patent titled “Creating a Conversational Chatbot of a Specific Person.”

The patent grants the company to develop an Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot that aims to emulate voices of the deceased loved ones. 

The creation of chatbot would rely on the personal information of a deceased person.

Social data, such as “images, voice data, social media posts, electronic messages, written letters, etc.” may also be accessed so that the AI could create an index that reflects the personality of the person being simulated.

Microsoft has filed a patent that grants the company to create digital alternatives of deceased loved ones. The patent also includes the notion of generating 2D or 3D models of specific people. [The image being presented is purely decorative]
“The specific person [who the chatbot represents] may correspond to a past or present entity (or a version thereof), such as a friend, a relative, an acquaintance, a celebrity, a fictional character, a historical figure, a random entity etc,” the patent reads.

It further adds, “The specific person may also correspond to oneself (e.g., the user creating/training the chat bot, ” insinuating that living users could create and train their own version of AI chatbot to be a digital replacement after they’re gone. 

The company has even introduced the idea of generating 2D and 3D models based on images, depth information and video data associated with the specific person. And, interaction with these new digital alternatives may be activated through mobile devices or voice computing platforms.

The concept of simulating someone, who has passed, sounds something straight out of science fiction, and it’s certainly not a novelty.  If you have seen Netflix’s Black Mirror, its episode “Be Right Back” of Season 2 centers around the same exact premise, where a woman, whose recent death of her boyfriend had left her in great distress, seeks a service to bring an AI-powered chatbot version of her partner into her life.

Everyone has lost their dearly beloved, and at some point, wished they could have one last conversation with them. Microsoft maybe able to grant you something similar of that sort. 

So how would you feel about having to have your dearly-departed loved one(s) immortalized?

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office