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I see dead people #CES

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It’s pretty obvious that technology is changing how we relate to each other. From social media and trolling to creating avatars and the metaverse, our world is moving rapidly to one where we could feel more engaged with a hologram than with a real person sitting next to us. These things are illustrated by so many films that the list is almost endless, but two of my most recent favourites are Her with Joaquin Phoenix and Transcendence with Johnny Depp. Both films postulate the idea that we can have a real relationship with a virtual person, even after their passing or if they’re not real.

Well now, that’s become a reality. Seoul-based DeepBrain AI has just launched a service to keep your dead friend alive. Announcing a general release at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, it’s called Re;Memory and is advertised as a way to have a conversation with those who have recently passed …

Re;memory is a service using AI technology that allows the bereaved family to meet and talk with their loved one who passed away. We help you to fulfill your wish to meet your family member who you miss but is no longer in this world. You can overcome the limitations of one-way messages such as recorded audios or videos of your loved ones, and communicate in both directions. The digital twins left behind by the deceased soothe the hearts of the bereaved in the form of a new tribute. Bereaved families can maintain a bond with the deceased through AI.

Many find these thing scary, but I’m not sure why. What is wrong with keeping in touch with a dead person, particularly if you loved them?

Some would say it’s wrong because you’re feeling immersed in a false world, but that is exactly what the metaverse is all about. We are creating false worlds and false relationships. Or are they false? Where is the line drawn between reality and fantasy? Where is the marker between truth and lie?

In many of our entertainment systems, movies and games, we are moving into a world of fantasy. The gaming industry is worth more than the movie industry and, as with movies, it’s all about escapism. So what’s the issue with escaping to talk with my father who died years ago, or even my grandfather? Do you have an issue with this?

I can see a world almost here and now, where we regularly receive counsel from relatives and friends who are no longer here. I see dead people ...

There’s no problem with this. It could be life enriching. It can help people with overcoming grief and keeping themselves stable.

But the downside might be, like agoraphobia, that you end up immersed in a world that doesn’t exist. You live a fantasy life. You are not here on earth, but you’re somewhere else. This borderline between real life and another life is something we’ve grappled with for some time.

  • Is this the real life?
  • Is this just fantasy?
  • Caught in a landside,
  • No escape from reality

We can now escape from reality. We can be with our dead friends and family in what appears to be a real life. This is today’s reality. We can create worlds and conversations with fantasy. Through gaming and the metaverse, we can live another life.

Is there a problem with this? Not really, except when your other life becomes your real life. When you spend all of your time in a fantasy and stop engaging with the real world, there is a problem. Like agoraphobia, if you never leave your room, you have an issue. That’s where technology steps over the line? Or maybe it’s the line we need to cross?

 

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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