Resurrecting the Dead…DIGITALLY: One Step Closer to the “Singularity”

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In 2017, Microsoft revealed it had patented a “chatbot” that could digitally resurrect the dead if actually built.

The chatbot uses AI and machine learning technology. Essentially, the chatbot would bring our “digital persona” back to life. Friends and relatives could then talk to our “digital persona.” When the media asked Microsoft about the technology, the companies’ representatives did admit that it was “disturbing” and claimed there were no plans to put it into production.

Believe that if you will.

Personal data? Check. Voice data? Check. Lifelike AI? Check.

The technical tools and the personal data are already in place to make these digital resurrections possible. AI chatbots have already passed the “Turing Test,” which means that they have been able to fool other humans into thinking that they (the AI bots) are human.

Globally, most people leave behind enough digital footprints to inform AI programs about their and our conversational idiosyncrasies. Even more convincing chatbots are just around the corner from being released.

Microsoft’s version of the chatbot would use your electronic messages to create a digitally reincarnated version of you, in your likeness. It would use machine learning to respond to text messages like you would have done when you were alive. If you leave behind especially rich voice data, your vocal likeness could be created, giving your friends and relatives someone to speak with through a phone or even a humanoid robot.

Chatbots are ALREADY harvesting your information for future use

Microsoft isn’t alone. The AI company Eternime is also showing interest in AI-enabled chatbots and digital resurrection. Eternime has already built an AI-enabled chatbot that harvests information such as geolocation, activity, motion, Facebook data, and photos, which lets users create an avatar of themselves to live on after they die.

Eternime’s chatbot ensures it’s just a matter of time before families can reanimate dead relatives using technologies such as these.

Legalities? What legalities?

Currently, there aren’t any laws that govern digital reincarnation.

Researchers have taken a look at the legal question regarding chatbots and digital resurrection. In the absence of specific legislation, it’s unclear who might have the power to bring your digital personality back to life after death.

Your right to data privacy is questionable in life, but it is far from certain after death. There also isn’t any way for you to opt-out of being digitally resurrected either. There is a lot of legal ambiguity, leaving room for private companies to make chatbots out of your personal data after you die.

Others researching the emergence of chatbots are also concerned about the legalities. For instance, as The Conversation writes:

If chatbots and holograms from beyond the grave are set to become commonplace, we’ll need to draw up new laws to govern them. After all, it looks like a violation of the right to privacy to digitally resurrect someone whose body lies beneath a tombstone reading “rest in peace.”

National laws are inconsistent on how your data is used after your death. In the EU, the law on data privacy only protects the rights of the living. That leaves room for member states to decide how to protect the data of the dead. Some, such as Estonia, France, Italy and Latvia, have legislated on postmortem data. The UK’s data protection laws have not.

Note: companies like Facebook and Google control much of our data.

Trending: Reanimated photos of deceased people

Digital resurrection is a growing trend in other areas as well. For instance, a recent article in The Sun drew attention to a new website that allows users to upload a deceased person’s picture. The online tool “reanimates” that person’s photo.

As The Sun reports:

AN EERIE new website lets you bring old photos to life with artificial intelligence.

Deep Nostalgia is a tool that animates any human portrait photo you upload with the aim of making your family history come alive.

“Ghost in the Shell” here we come!

We are quickly heading toward a world like the one presented in The Matrix or Ghost in The Shell.

In other words, a world where humans have been physically altered and linked with the internet. A world where a “single global consciousness” is linked to “cyberized” humans who have been fully merged into the digital world. The “Singularity” researchers warned of is now on the verge of being deployed against most of humanity.

What’s the Singularity?

While futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted 15 years ago that the singularity—the time when the abilities of a computer overtake the abilities of the human brain—will occur in about 2045, Gale and his co-authors believe this event may be much more imminent, especially with the advent of quantum computing…

….The authors don’t know when the singularity will come, but come it will. When this occurs, the end of the human race might very well be upon us, they say, citing a 2014 prediction by the late Stephen Hawking. According to Kurzweil, humans may then be fully replaced by AI, or by some hybrid of humans and machines. (source)

It’s like science is torn between resurrecting us and making us live forever and ending humanity altogether with risky experiments.

What do you think?

While it would be nice to have one more conversation with lost loved ones, would you actually use chatbots and reanimated photos to do it? Do you think it’s ethical?

And what about the “Singularity?” Are you for or against the day we find ourselves unable to rely on our own minds? Do you believe the end of humanity will come when we are forced to collaborate with computers to solve life’s every day problems? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.

About Robert

Robert Wheeler has been quietly researching world events for two decades. After witnessing the global network of NGOs and several ‘Revolutions’ they engineered in a number of different countries, Wheeler began analyzing current events through these lenses.

Picture of Robert Wheeler

Robert Wheeler

Robert Wheeler has been quietly researching world events for two decades. After witnessing the global network of NGOs and several 'Revolutions' they engineered in a number of different countries, Wheeler began analyzing current events through these lenses.

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  • The focus is on the creators however the desire is that of the user.

    I’ve no desire to talk to the dead through a computer nor do I wish those who love me to think they are speaking to me through one.

    They need to deal with the fact that I’m gone and move on.
    I don’t leave much unsaid anyway. I tell my grown kids I’m proud of them, let those I love know it and leave zero doubt in the grandkids minds that the world revolves around them to me. I speak my mind on what I believe to be right or wrong so they shouldn’t be no confusion.

    The inability to let go needs to be addressed. That ain’t healthy

  • I am convinced that if Jesus Christ did not return and set things in perfect order than mankind would destroy humanity and all of creation! Y’all best be found in faith, following the Lord Jesus Christ because HE will soon shake all that can be shaken so that what needs to remain shall remain. The shaking has already begun and it is mild compared to what is coming. He is our HOPE. Believe in Him and follow Him!

  • Since dead people have been voting for the Democrats for very many decades … it might help with some insight into what would be a scramble for control over these newly created chatbots. Some examples:

    Suppose that chatbots for James Forrestal, Martin Luther King, Jr, John F Kennedy, Andrew Breitbart, Antonin Scalia and more all made public statements about who really murdered them and how it was covered up. Don’t you suppose there would be one bloody foodfight over who or what entities could seize control over such pronouncements?

    And what would be the legal rights of chatbots to count votes after midnight that once ended election days?


  • If they think there is money to be made, Microsquish will make it.

    I like to think my loved ones would not be sitting around, having a conversation with AI me.
    Not much I can do, seeing as how I would be kinda dead.
    If by some legality standpoint I can put it in my Will, I do not want to be resurrected via AI, I can put that in there.
    Would I have to copyright/buy the rights to my own digital likeness?

    Regardless, seems to me to be the next techno gizmoid for people to spend their money/time on. Just like Fakebook, Distagram, Dwitter, I dont use any of those either, I wont be using AI Me.

  • Zberg is attributed to have suggested VR as a solution to a housing crisis. If without a house, where would it be used?

    There is a whole sci-fi sub-genre, in which the user is converted into a digital world, so has to pay in-app charges. If you find just one of these episodes, the AI is going to show you every possible example, and fill your search results with this very topic.

    Just asking whether these can be Deep Fakes or chatbots:
    “Sinclair’s Soldiers in Trump’s War on Media”

    Also, have you noticed that we are being discouraged from going to real-life events, in-person?

  • If the “chatbots” can fool people into thinking they are talking to a live person they know, what is to keep them from using the “chatbot” BEFORE the persons death? They can buy things the actual person never would, say things the actual (living) person never would and generally raise h*ll for the living person!

  • Hi Robert. Thanks for your piece.

    I worked in 2007 to develop mind downloading hardware and software. Although fascinating, it became apparent that there was more than scientific interest by those researching it, such as who owns the data and its legal implications. At a meeting, I asked Kurzweil about the problem of “grey goo,” where AI will make humans irrelevant. His response was, “Well, what are you going to do?”

  • yo, grandpa, about that bag of money. do you remember where you put it?

    but seriously. this is creepy. are they recorded or is someone real timing conversations? even more creepy

    no thank you

  • First of all, we’ll never reach singularity. The reason is the nature of the beast. A computer is just a box of switches that need to be programmed in order to work. A computer can’t program itself. Thus a computer will never match a human brain (needed to program said computer).

    Have computers gotten the same number of switches as cells and synapses in a brain? Possibly already for some of the massive research computers with thousands of CPUs. But even those are dependent on humans to work.

    AI is just some very complex programming made by humans.

    Next question, do we depend on computers to live our daily lives? Yes. The dumbest of dumb cell phones has a computer built into it that rivals, if not surpasses, the main frame computer on which I learned to program back many years ago. The computer that we use to access this web site blows those mainframe computers away, I’m talking about just a laptop. But that use is no different than getting into a car to buy groceries.

    As for “resurrecting the dead”, that bridge was crossed long ago. In the movie Forrest Gump, President Nixon was “resurrected” in order to interact with the actor. In reality, that was just CGI. Advances in computer power and programming have made that easier, but that doesn’t change the basic nature of the thing. Humans see the CGI as imagery, the computer “sees” only ones and zeros.

    The promise and danger of computer use lies in the morals of those who use them. They can be used for good by moral people, but in the hands of amoral psychopaths like Bill Gates, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Zuckerberg and their ilk, watch out!

  • Remember that the devil and all of his servants are liars, first and foremost. If they can get a voiceprint of someone you are familiar with to tell you a lie and get you to do or believe something that you would not otherwise do or believe, then you can be sure that they will. Visit the hall of Presidents in Orlando sometime and you will see lifelike bodies and voices with motion that look pretty real. Now imagine them doing the same with Billy Graham or some other respected person standing up on worldwide TV and telling everyone that they should worship the Antichrist and take his mark using this same technology to deceive the whole world.

  • Two words – Pet Sematary. Creepy. This is starting to get a bit out of hand. I wonder if the heirs could sue for using their departed’s voice without permission?

    • That probably wouldn’t work with an artificial judge that supports the singularity. Boy is this modern generation of kids who have never known what reality is going to be confused!

  • What if the Singularity has already happened … and everything that we are currently experiencing, is being driven by AI, intent upon ridding itself of humans?

  • Sounds like another means to exploit someone’s grief. Grieving people are vulnerable. There is no end to the abuses and scams that this could create and perpetuate

  • Mad scientists rule the world!
    This is why we should never have developed “technology”.
    Humans don’t have the moral integrity to resist the lust to power that this tech promises.
    for evidence all you have to do is look at the growing tyranny in all the govts of the world right now.
    We’ve reached a place of no return and will be captured and killed by our own ingenuity and the evil hearts of the men who own it.
    God in heaven help us!

  • I read Ray Kurzwell’s book “The Singularity is Near” last year. The first quarter of the book was difficult to sludge through, and I had to read a section and then put it down, and then go back again. But, the last half got really interesting-and weird, too. He got into everything from “smart dust” to merging with machines-something Kurzwell seemed to believe in. He believed such was the way to live forever. It is an interesting book to read, if only to “get into the minds” of what these people believe in.

  • Did anyone see the article where AI can create faces that look amazingly real by just combining different parts of lots of different faces? At this point you can still tell the difference if you know what to look for, but that will likely change in the future. I think the real use of this technology will be to create fake videos of people doing things that are meant to incite violent backlashes.

    Just think what you could do if you were a terrorist and could create a fake replica of the president swearing to start a war against your country. Or if you wanted to start a riot by creating a fake bot that says inflammatory content about some issue. Many people would be fooled by this. That’s the scary part. The media can already skew an audience by only showing parts of a real video (as we have already seen), so what could they do if they could create their own story–instead of waiting around for one to happen? Scary stuff…

  • Hi! I had an idea a few, years ago when QR Codes were them rage. I started a website called: QR Code Memorials. What it was is that I took photos & videos from a family member and put them in a video commemorating the person in a “Nice” way with music and a possible narration of the persons life.
    I would then upload to my video channel and make a QR Code for the URL of the video. I then made a vinyl decal to place on the Grave Stone. Folks could then scan the QR Code and pull up “Uncle Jed’s” video and view it right at the grave site. Maybe old friends or relatives who couldn’t make the funeral would then have a little piece of his history. The vinyl decal could still be removed after a year or so and wouldn’t bother the look of the memorial stone.
    I could offer this to funeral homes and other folks a a promotion to offer along with their service.
    Didn’t get but 1 taker. (maybe people thought this was too weird) I don’t know. I eventually took down the site before the covid hit. Could have made millions after people weren’t allowed to be with their
    family members on their “Death Bed”.
    Anyway, I enjoyed the article.

  • I would suggest that editor and readers take a peek at Martine Rothblatt, since he/she was tied into Ray Kurzweil. This person is a key driver in the move to transfer sentience from a human to another entity.

  • Psyop… Only the LORD HIMSELF has that power and authority… Remember scripture clearly states when they are here defacto, they will perform LYING signs and wonders… It’s not real wonders.. Just as fake as satan in the role of antichrist will be… The KING warned first and foremost: “don’t be DECEIVED”….

  • “Excuse me, yes I, the guy in the third row. I think you forget a very legal construct that would kill that kind of AI meddling right in its tracks. ….”

    That my dear friends is the legal estate in perpetuity. Many personalities, Elvis Presley being one of many, use this vehicle to retain legal rights to physical and digital assets long after the corpse has been worm food. You could certainly build the AI profile but the moment that the party with controlling estate interest found out its existence its intended purpose would be nullified.

  • There is a movie with Bruce Willis called Surrogates which seems like a potential distopian future, part of the 2030 control grid? I don’t hear about it being referenced at all but it’s worth watching. I for one will die before I allow myself to be integrated into the borg.

  • It is strange how as a species we are trying to replace “living” with fake things. I went to a crowded restaurant last week, thats right crowded. We had to wait for a table and there was a young family sitting across from us. I would say a late 30’s mother and father and a boy and girl in their mid teens. They all had there heads in their phones for over a half hour, before they were seated before us. I don’t believe they said one word to each other. Not even when they were called on their phone for a table. Everyone still had masks on but it was good just to see people living their lives. However, it made me sad to see a family of four have more to do with their phones than with each other.
    Maybe people would be better off without phones, I am old enough to remember that and almost wish they were never invented. This coming from a person that lived and existed by a phone for over 30 years as I was on call with most of my jobs.
    I don’t agree that this wasn’t a good article, it makes you think about where we are, where we were and how we got here. Something we should have done a long time ago.
    I was wondering if someone could come up with a vocabulary on the new “woke language” and how it fits into all of this left wing liberal stuff. I don’t understand what it is all about. Daisy did a vocabulary for new peppers and I was wondering if someone could do it for that. It seems like nonsense to me but as diabolical as these people are, I would like to understand it. Anything they are attacking might be relevant.

    God bless, protect and guide our county and its people.

  • I agree, it “ain’t mentally healthy” to seek any pretend immortality. But it might be fun if somebody comes up with some way that I can meet myself outside my body and have a conversation as though there are actually two of me standing side by side. I did a cataclysmic “Yogic Awakening” a little over 50 years ago and realized that there is quite more to human existence than approximately 99.999999999999% of humans will ever imagine unless some heavy duty instant evolution intervenes and captures the whole world: a not likely scenario. Thus, I might be able to enjoy a good conversation with my “doppelganger,” or is that doppelgangster?

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