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[Simulated Part Three] Immortalized: Building An AI Afterlife

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An illustration featuring a woman sitting on a couch or bed looking down at an open laptop with tears streaming down her face. In the background is a dresser with a photo of a man surrounded by two lit candles. In the upper righthand corner of the illustration is that same man smiling with a text exchange showing. One message says "I miss you." Then there are two messages from the other conversation partner that read "I'm still here!" and then "Just in a different dimension." The word "Immortalized" is in the upper lefthand corner of the illustration.
Charnel Hunter

When a loved one dies, a big part of the grieving process involves letting go of the role they once played in your day-to-day life. But with new developments in AI technology … the dead can live on in new and interesting ways. Anita meets a tech journalist who built bots of her parents to see how AI could preserve their memories for the long term. She also talks with a philosophy professor about the ways that ancient Chinese philosophy can address AI's emerging ethical issues and how grief tech fits into a long history of traditions around death and mourning.

Meet the guests:

  • Charlotte Jee, news editor for MIT's Tech Review, shares the process of creating her AI parents and a survey of where we are with grief tech today
  • Dr. Alexis Elder, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota Duluth, talks about how Chinese philosophy can guide communal conversations about the future of this technology and how it fits into our society's grieving process

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Gabriela Glueck is a producer for Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, health and relationships.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.