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March 3, 2017

App Creates Walking Talking Avatars of Dead Relatives

An app called With Me is being developed in South Korea which allows individuals to create avatars of deceased relatives, then take selfies with the avatar. AI (Artificial Intelligence) also allows them to have conversations with the avatar via video.

The avatars recognize emotions and can mimic facial expressions so if an individual were to blow a kiss towards the avatar, it will turn and bestow a kiss to the individual. 

As a genealogist, in some ways this sounds a bit intriguing to me. However the avatars are not created in the likeness of the deceased relative but instead are based on 3D scanning done of the living individual and other family members.

This does mean that one could be a proactive user by having Grandmother or Grandfather or another older relative scanned while they are living. Their avatar would then be created and the living relative would have instant access to dear Grandma after she passes on.

I'm torn between thinking this is a very cool idea and feeling like it might be taking AI a bit too far. However I don't agree with some journalists who are calling this a "creepy app". I do think it's intriguing! What do you think?

Watch the video about this new app at App creates selfies with avatars of dead relatives

Credit: Image is a screenshot from the video at bbc.com

2 comments:

T said...

I'm not sure whether to take the Stupidest award away from ancestry for their related people app and give it to this one or just let this have 2nd place.

Unknown said...

Actually, I think it has promise, if you have good likenesses of relatives and ancestors. I would dearly love to see even an approximation of my people who have gone before and for whom I have no real description or photo.