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Grieving Chinese families are paying $14 to ‘resurrect’ dead loved ones using AI

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Grieving families in China are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence (AI) firms, seeking to create digital replicas of deceased loved ones.

Key points:

  • Rapid advancements in AI technology have fueled the emergence of businesses offering AI “resurrection” services in China, allowing individuals to interact with digital versions of their deceased loved ones, reported The Paper.

  • Companies are capitalizing on the demand, offering tiered pricing for AI-generated images, audio and video of the deceased, ranging from economical to prohibitively expensive.

  • While some see this technology as a means of emotional solace and closure, others express concerns about privacy, fraud and the ethical implications of digitally recreating the deceased.

The details:

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  • The use of AI to digitally resurrect deceased individuals has gained significant traction in China, with recent notable instances such as the recreation of late Chinese American singer Coco Lee, Taiwanese Canadian actor Godfrey Gao and musician Pakho Chau’s daughter. Chinese AI firm SenseTime also showcased a digital representation of its late founder during its New Year’s Day celebration.

  • Merchants on e-commerce platforms offer packages ranging from simple photos to conversational chatbots, claiming to replicate a loved one’s voice, mannerisms and even memories. Costs range from as low as 99 yuan ($13.75) for basic services to over 10,000 yuan ($1,389), depending on the level of interaction and customization desired.

  • Public opinions vary, with some expressing willingness to try the technology for potential emotional closure while others view it as a distortion of reality and an exploitation of grief.

  • Legal experts emphasize the need for consent from the deceased’s heirs and highlight potential legal liabilities associated with the unauthorized use of a deceased person’s likeness.

  • While netizens have raised concerns about fraud and privacy, some merchants are tight-lipped about how they protect user data and secure transactions.

What’s next:

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