legal experts weigh in on ‘disturbing’ technology


It was recently revealed that in 2017 Microsoft patented a chatbot that, if built, would digitally resurrect the dead. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, the proposed chatbot would bring our digital personality back to life for our family and friends to talk. When emphasizing the technology, Microsoft representatives admitted that the chatbot was “disturbingAnd that there were currently no plans to go into production.

Still, it appears that the technical tools and personal data are in place to make digital reincarnations possible. AI chatbots have already passed the “Turing test,” which means they’ve fooled other humans into believing they’re also human. Meanwhile, most people in the modern world now leave enough data to teach AI programs our conversational idiosyncrasies. Convincing digital doubles may be just around the corner.

But there is currently no law governing digital reincarnation. Your right to data privacy after your death is far from written in stone, and there is currently no way for you to refuse to be digitally resurrected. This legal ambiguity leaves the possibility for private companies to create chatbots from your data after your death.

Our research looked at the surprisingly complex legal question of what happens to your data after your death. At present, and in the absence of specific legislation, we do not know