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AI Ethics Experts Call for Deadbot Regulations

The concept of interacting with loved ones who have passed away has long captured our imagination. From the ancient Egyptians burying pharaohs in elaborate tombs to the modern fascination with near-death experiences, humanity has grappled with the idea of ​​maintaining contact with the dead.

Now, with the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI), a new field has emerged: creating digital replicas of deceased people.

These digital reconstructions, sometimes called “dead bodies,” are created using a combination of text, audio and video data from the deceased. This data may include social media posts, emails, voice recordings, and even home videos. AI algorithms then analyze this data to create a virtual representation of the person that can conduct conversations, answer questions, and even generate new content in their image. The most popular tool is MyHeritage AI.

While the prospect of talking to a digital version of a lost loved one may seem appealing, AI ethicists have raised concerns about the technology’s potential negative impact. They argue that urgent regulation is needed to address the ethical and psychological consequences of interacting with these digital doppelgangers.

The ethics of artificial intelligence in dead robots
Ancient Egyptians built elaborate tombs to protect their pharaohs, believing they could interact with them after death (Image source)

The psychological impact of dead robots is under the microscope

One of the main concerns about dead robots is their potential to cause psychological harm to those who interact with them. The grieving process is complex and highly individual. Some users may feel comfortable interacting with a digital replica of their loved one, especially immediately after a loss. However, others may find the experience disturbing or even disturbing disorienting.

The ability of dead robots to mimic the personality and communication style of the deceased can create a sense of false intimacy. This can hinder the grieving process by preventing users from fully confronting the reality of the loss. Additionally, dead robots may raise unrealistic expectations about the nature of mourning and recovery.

Additionally, the potential for dead bots to be used to spread disinformation or manipulate users is a major concern. The ability to generate new content depicting the likeness of the deceased raises ethical questions about the potential of deepfakes and other forms of digital fraud.

Legal and ethical conditions of digital recreation

The appearance of dead robots also raises a number of legal and ethical considerations. Ownership of the data used to create the dead bot is a complex issue. Does the right to access this data belong to the estate of the deceased or should it be left to his or her relatives? Additionally, questions arise about the potential for dead robots to invade the deceased’s privacy or even cause damage to his or her reputation.

The ability to manipulate and change the personality of a dead robot raises questions about authenticity and consent. Should users be informed when interacting with a digital replica rather than a real recording of the deceased?

The possibility of using dead bots for commercial purposes is a concern.

The ethics of artificial intelligence in dead robots
Artificial intelligence ethicists worry about the psychological impact of dead bots on users (Image source)

Dead robots policy

The development of digital reconstructions of deceased persons poses a unique set of challenges that require careful consideration. While this technology may offer some potential benefits, the potential for psychological harm, disinformation and exploitation is significant.

Artificial intelligence ethicists are calling for clear regulations governing the creation and use of dead bots. These provisions should address issues such as data ownership, user consent and commercial exploitation.

The development of deadbots is a reminder of the need for responsible innovation in the field of artificial intelligence. As technology continues to advance, it is critical to have open and honest conversations about potential ethical implications.


Author of the featured image: liuzishan/Freepik