Late last year, a company founded in South Korea started doing some spooky shit.
DeepBrain AI Inc., which also has an office in San Mateo, California, began offering a service called “Re;memory” which somehow allows people to speak to their departed loved ones. If this sounds Black Mirror-esque, that’s because it’s basically the exact same plot as the 2013 episode “Be Right Back.”
This is no medium feat. DeepBrain AI makes this work by collecting videos and photos of the deceased person and staging a series of interviews, including a seven-hour conversation that takes place before they’ve departed. So, they can’t quite make this work without full and intense participation of the subject at hand, which makes this all a little less eerie.
After collecting a massive amount of data about the subject, DeepBrain AI uses—you guessed it—artificial intelligence to synthesize mannerisms, facial tics, and speech patterns with natural language processing technology that makes real-time conversations possible. The company offers a number of experiences after the research and programming are finished. You can sit in a room for a 30-minute video called a “reuniting experience,” have special videos made for birthdays, holidays, or anniversaries, or even have them at a memorial service.
This seems off-putting, but that has not stopped the company from being celebrated. For two consecutive years, DeepBrain AI was named the Innovation Awards Honoree at the CES Innovation Awards. There’s no doubt this discovery is a unique achievement in the sciences, but it’s downright bizarre. People can do whatever they want—and seriously, no judgment to people who feel this might be a necessary step in the grieving process—but what’s the guarantee this technology won’t eventually be used for sinister purposes like people are warning about similar deep fake technologies?