Is it possible for artificial intelligence to recreate the voices and likenesses of deceased loved ones, and could this technology help or harm the grieving process? These are the questions being debated by tech experts and pain therapists after a tweet from American computer scientist Pratik Desai went viral. Desai suggested that with enough transcription data, voice synthesis, and video models, it would be possible for people to “live with” their loved ones forever after their physical death. However, critics have called the idea “unhealthy and dystopian,” and experts are divided on its potential impact.
According to Richard Khoury, president of the Canadian Artificial Intelligence Association (CAIAC), while AI technology could be used to impersonate dead people, it cannot entirely recreate their personalities and memories. Khoury points out that AI must be trained by people and collects data to inform its responses, making it difficult to accurately impersonate someone. Chatbots, for instance, have limitations on the amount of context they can analyze and cannot “think” on their own. Therefore, AI could only generate a shallow copy of a deceased loved one.
On the other hand, Andrea Warnick, a registered grief therapist based in Ontario, is concerned about the use of AI in the grieving process. While the technology could enhance some therapeutic practices if used skillfully, Warnick worries that it could also lead to people having unhealthy coping mechanisms or avoiding the reality of loss altogether. For instance, some mourners might use chatbots or AI avatars to avoid crying or facing the pain of loss. Warnick believes that people should be encouraged to grieve in a healthy way, and that AI should be used thoughtfully to avoid creating barriers to the grieving process.
In conclusion, while the potential impact of AI on the grieving process is still unclear, it is clear that technology can never entirely recreate the essence of a loved one who has passed away. As technology continues to evolve, it’s important for us to consider both its benefits and its limitations and use it carefully in the context of grieving. As per information from the source, the future of AI and grief therapy remains to be seen.