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Microsoft Patents AI-Chatbots That Imitate Dead People

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted Microsoft one of the most bizarre patents to date: chatbots using deceased people’s personal information. 

The Independent reports Microsoft is creating an AI-based chatbot based on “images, voice data, social media posts, electronic messages,” and other personal information. It’s thought that the chatbot would simulate the deceased person’s human conversation.

This AI-based chatbot concept is straight out of a Black Mirror episode called “Be Right Back,” where a young woman uses an AI-based chatbot to chat with her deceased partner.

The patent describes a “specific person [who the chatbot 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.”

“The specific person may also correspond to oneself (e.g., the user creating/training the chatbot,” the patent said, implying that living users could train AI-based chatbot as their digital replacement in the event of death.

The patent even includes creating 2-D or 3-D models of the person based on images, videos, and other information.

If the patent doesn’t lead to any tangible tech, it’s a reminder of the digital age we live in. 

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