The idea that we’d make robots to mimic our dead relatives is rather to miss the point. A more desirable goal is to make soon to be dead relatives into robots so they don’t die – very much the opposite idea in fact. So, this seems to us to fail at the first hurdle of doing something useful:
Swedish scientists believe that artificial intelligence can be harnessed to create ‘fully conscious copies’ of our loved ones after they die, according to Sputnik News.
Scientists are looking for volunteers who are willing to offer up their dead relatives for the study.
They would use AI to reconstruct the voices of those who’ve died to allow family members to communicate with their deceased loved ones.
It’s that fully conscious part which isn’t quite there.
Scientists also want to build robot replicas that look exactly like family members and friends who have died, the report claims.
What’s more, the scientists hope AI can be used to make the robot clones capable of completing more sophisticated tasks.
The robots might be equipped to answer simple questions related to the weather, what time it is and more.
No, really, that’s not what is desired at all, is it? A bad copy that can only answer the simplest questions? That’s just what Granny’s dementia caused before her death, wasn’t it?
Sure, they say that they’ll work on more complex things but that then runs smack into the Turing test. We don’t know how to make an AI indistinguishable from a human just yet. Let alone one that can contain a human.
This is not the first time such an idea has surfaced. Prominent futurist, Dr Michio Kaku has said that humans will be able to upload their minds (memories, personality) to machines in the future and speak to people even after they die.
That’s rather more what the goal is. That we upload to machines and thus don’t die. Although even that is fraught. For the copy left behind in meatspace is still going to die even if the mechanical version lives on. We’re not going to beat death therefore, even if a personality can live forever. A version of that personality is still going to go through that death.