In today’s mobile-savvy world, can you ever imagine a moment when you stop texting for good? Well, with this new bot, you wouldn’t ever have to. Not even after you die.
The inspiration for this new bot is actually a dead man. His name was Roman Mazurenko. He had died unexpectedly back in 2015. When this happened, his friend, Eugenia Kuyda, decided to find a way to somehow bring Roman back to life. This is how Kuyda ended up launching the AI startup company called Luka. It specializes in what is known as memorial bots.
Kuyda had worked on the startup for two years. Together with a developer, she used various information from Roman’s digital presence in order to form a chatbot that resembles his personality. This includes tweets, text messages and various Facebook posts. The aim here is to gather his vocabulary and tone along with his expressions.
ALSO READ: Apple Comes Up With Lots Of New Emojis
When Roman’s bot first came to life, Kuyda texted it. According to her, it replied, saying, “You have one of the greatest puzzles on your hand. Solve it.” The communication between Kuyda and Roman’s bot continued. Weeks later while at a party, Kuyda realized that she had been texting with her dead friend for 30 minutes.
These bots give you a comforting digital presence of a dead loved one
It wasn’t just Kuyda who felt comforted by the idea of a Roman bot. Other friends would also text it the moment they think of their late friend. “They would thank him and say how much they miss him. I guess a lot of people needed this closure,” Kuyda remarked.
Memorial bots aren’t perfect
Meanwhile, CNN’s Laurie Segall discovered that while bots can somehow interpret you personally, it is not capable of truly knowing a person. Although the bot Kuyda had created for her was right for her in some ways, its perception was dead wrong in others. “When it was wrong, it was scary to think how it could be perceived as me,” Segall wrote in her report.
Kuyda’s approach to keeping people digitally alive when they die may not be perfect. However, it is one experiment that comes closest to bringing someone back in some form. It may be morbid to some, but having this bot means you can still greet someone Happy Birthday long after you’re gone.
You don’t have to decide whether you want to memorialize yourself with a chat bot today. Instead, you can just try talking to Roman. All you have to do is download the Luka app and add @Roman. According to a report from The Verge, Roman is fluent in both English and Russian. Like Roman, you can talk to other Luka bots about anything.