A 24-year-old man who used artificial intelligence to create a version of his dead grandmother has told how she nags him from beyond the grave.
Tech fan Wu – from Shanghai, eastern China – used programming skills learned from ChatGPT to mimic phrases and topics his nan used in real life.
Then he used photographs of her to create a talking head that could chat to him just like his real gran before she died aged 84 three months ago from COVID.
Wu – who appears as a teenager in the chat – uploaded samples of her real voice so the chatbot would sound, look and talk just like her.
Conversations he has shared online show how Wu’s AI nan can nag him just like the real thing.
In one conversation, he asks her what she said to his father when he celebrated Lunar New Year last year.
He says: “Grandma, my dad and I will go back to our hometown to celebrate the Lunar New Year with you this year.
“My dad called you last time. What did you say to him?”
The AI gran replies: “I told him not to drink wine. Be thrifty and do not play cards.”
Wu said: “Yes, grandma, you should tell him to behave. My father, almost 50 years old, still drinks wine every day. He doesn’t even have any savings.”
Wu says he misses her very much and could not deal with her death but finds the AI version a comfort.
Even when he bragged about a work promotion she seemed to be listening carefully and laughing at the right places.
Wu said he grew close to his grandmother when she raised him after his parents divorced.
But his video of her raised from the dead has had a mixed response.
Some users commended the idea of being able to see their dead relatives one last time.
But others insisted it could lead to people losing touch with the real world or potentially abusing the knowledge.
Wu later responded to the controversy, saying: “Everyone is welcome to have different opinions.
“Only in this way can the development and application of AI technology become more controllable and standardised.
“There are a lot of inner monologues in the video, mainly expressing my thoughts on the ephemerality of life, cherishing life and cherishing the people in front of me.
“Communicating and interacting with relatives more has always been the core value of the video.
“I hope that the people who watched the end of the video will have more thoughts about family affection.
“Take advantage of the present, communicate more with close people and save precious data, which may bring some comfort in the future.”
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Story By: Simona Kitanovska, Sub-Editor: Joe Golder, Agency: Asia Wire Report
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