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Can AI help connect with your dead grandma? ChatGPT makes it possible to talk to deceased loved ones


Since the beginning of time, humans have been looking for ways to connect with those who are no longer in the world.

Death may be the inescapable truth, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your connection with a loved one. Now that we are in a world where artificial intelligence is getting freakishly better every day, it might soon be possible to talk to the dead.

If not physically, we can now resurrect the dead digitally through “thanabots” or “deadbots” in the world of AI. It is a chatbot trained on data of deceased individuals. The chatbots trained on the data of the deceased are also called digital ghosts. The term “thanabot” derives from thanatology, the scientific study of death.

The story began in August 2020 when the world was battling with the coronavirus pandemic. Video game designer Jason Rohrer wrote a code for a text-based experiment that eventually gave birth to ‘Project December’, a reapplication of OpenAI’s GPT-3.

The project allows users to input various sets of data and information to make personalized chatbots. As per the official website of the project, it is the first system in the world of its kind. It allows users to simulate a text-based conversation with anyone, including those who are no longer alive.

How these “thanabots” or “deadbots” can impact the living’s mind is a subject of debate, however, with easier access to AIs, options like these will be multiple.

It is not even one year since the public launch of ChatGPT and it has already been gaining limelight for the wonders it is able to perform. OpenAI’s artificially intelligent chatbot is smart enough to do a lot of tasks. Further, with more and more digital records of individuals on social media platforms “thanabots” or “deadbots” may become more common in the coming time.

And since it has been a long struggle for humans to connect to our loved ones who have died, options like these are likely to gain market share and soon we will be entering an era where death may no longer be the ultimate end. We can hear their voices and see them with the help of photos and videos while feeling their warmth is still nowhere in the picture but at least getting texts from them.

With ChatGPT in the game, the days of Ouija boards, mirror gazing, or holding the good ol’ seance might really be over. Your next scary Saturday night might just be a computer screen and your lonely self.