Wired published a story about a son that knew that he was just about to lose his father and created a BOT, called DadBot, to preserve his existence. The story can be found here.
As I finished reading the article two, above many other questions came to my mind:
- It is ethical to preserve the existence of a living being after his death? The definition of a concept, a domain, is a consequence of the surroundings, of the environment we live and the multitude of human principles and beliefs. What in a society can be accepted as a practice, in another can be condemned. Now, I believe because this is a foundational universe functioning rule, that what is born it will die. We all know that we want to preserve the life of our beloved ones and definitively there are scientific studies that demonstrate how positive it is to create other ways of engagement with a person that does not inhabit our world. However, is my belief that recognizing that someone died, implies we cannot recreate interaction. One can argue that browse pictures or watch videos is another way of interacting. Would you consider ethical to create a system that reproduces an nonexistence life form in other medium?
- How fast the system is going to become obsolete? James Vlhaos, refers that he collected information from his father in a way that the BOT could later share stories and past experiences with the interlocutor. He provides an example how the system is context aware and interacts with the user remembering past stories that were lived together, “Remember that big barbecue dinner they hosted for us at the taverna?” – he writes – nevertheless, what happens when there are no more stories to tell? Are we interested in repeat the experience until exhaustion is reached? One can argue that is the precise function of the system and immortality is reached. If you want to know about a person, particularly younger generations that never met that person, they can get acquainted without facing the risk of facts distortion or even loss, as it happens when the elder generations die and the memories are washed away with the dead. On the other hand, this is another way to preserve the bond, the ties and the affection, like it happens in real life and people like to repeat the same stories over and over to create that sense of collective existence. Last, how do you as a solution architect, a designer, choose the content? Image that your relative committed war crimes, something that second world war generations need to deal with in Germany, would you recreate the life of your siblings, your grandfather if you knew he committed such crimes, would you hide those facts or would you expose it?