Microsoft Patent Shows Plans to Revive Dead Loved Ones as Chatbots

(This article was published in 2021.) Microsoft has been granted a patent that would allow the company to make a chatbot using the personal information of deceased people.

The patent describes creating a bot based on the “images, voice data, social media posts, electronic messages”, and more personal information.

“The specific person [who the chat bot 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”, it goes on to say.

“The specific person may also correspond to oneself (e.g., the user creating/training the chat bot,” Microsoft also describes – implying that living users could train a digital replacement in the event of their death.

Microsoft has even included the notion of 2D or 3D models of specific people being generated via images and depth information, or video data.

The idea that you would be able, in the future, to speak to a simulation of someone who has passed on is not new. It is famously the plot of the Black Mirror episode “Be Right Back”, where a young woman uses a service to scrape data from her deceased partner to create a chatbot – and eventually a robot.

In October 2020, Kanye West bought Kim Kardashian West a hologram of her late father, Robert Kardashian, to celebrate her 40th birthday, further cementing the idea of digital representations of the dead that can more authentically communicate with the living.

The hologram spoke for around three minutes, directly addressing Kardashian and her decision to become a lawyer “and carry on my legacy”.

Apart from Microsoft, other tech companies have tried to use digital data to recreate loved ones who have passed on.

Eugenia Kuyda, co-founder of technology company Luka, used 8000 lines of text messages between her and friend Roman Mazurenko, who was killed in a road accident, to create a chatbot that mimicked Mazurenko’s way of speaking.

“It’s still a shadow of a person — but that wasn’t possible just a year ago, and in the very close future we will be able to do a lot more,” Kuyda wrote at the time, but other family members found it difficult to connect with the chatbot.

“Yes, it has all of Roman’s phrases, correspondences. But for now, it’s hard — how to say it — it’s hard to read a response from a program. Sometimes it answers incorrectly”, Mazurenko’s father said.

**By Adam Smith


3 Replies to “Microsoft Patent Shows Plans to Revive Dead Loved Ones as Chatbots”

  1. Alaïa

    I’ve had my passed loved ones on instant dial for years, Bill. They’re always right behind me, for support, for advice, for a laugh even. Even my grandfather, who passed before I was psychically on Earth. We’ve been building an incredible relationship for the last 5 years, in a way that wouldn’t have been possible when he was alive, as he was deeply depressed but now is completely free of that state. Our loved ones are so much more than their way of talking or how they looked. This pale imitation is and will always be a delusion. Join the Light and you will never have to be alone again.

  2. All that Glitters

    Aww Bill Gates and Co. we welcome you to reconnect with Source and embrace you with our love. We suggest it’s time for the games to end, aren’t you tired? So much energy wasted. There’s much more fun to be had in the light. Come rejoin us we await you with open hearts and no bad feelings. 💚