21:26 GMT04 March 2021
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    Although it seems mind-boggling, the idea of “reviving” the dead in a digital form is far from new. Thanks to technological progress, Michael Jackson performed at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards despite the fact that the King of Pop died from a heart attack in 2009.

    If your friend tells you that he is talking to a dead relative, don’t rush to call an exorcist or ghostbusters. The chances are high that he or she is using a new creation of Microsoft. According to the tech company’s patent, it plans to revive deceased people by turning them into AI chatbots. The patent, dubbed "Creating a Conversational Chat Bot of a Specific Person", was filed in 2017 by Dustin Abramson and Joseph Johnson Jr. of Microsoft, but was approved earlier this month.

    Essentially, the company wants to create a digital version of a deceased person using photos and videos showing him or her as well as posts on social media, voice, and text messages, along with other data. Microsoft said the chatbots could come in the form of 2D or 3D models.

    According to the patent, the "resurrected” person can be anyone - from a close friend or relative, to celebrities, and historical figures.

    "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.", reads the patent as cited by The Independent.

    Want to eternalise yourself? Sure, the company provides this option too. According to the patent, one can even "train" his or her digital replacement in the event of death.

    There is no information on when Microsoft plans to unveil its creation.

    The idea of resurrecting the deceased in digital form is not new. Last October, rapper Kanye West presented his wife, Kim Kardashian, with a hologram of her late father Robert. The hologram spoke about its intentions to become a lawyer, just like the late Robert Kardashian.

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    Tags:
    chatbots, patent, artificial intelligence, dead, Microsoft
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