New Microsoft Patent Could Create AI Chatbots For Dead People

The patent also allows users to create chatbots for themselves, for whatever reason.

3 Comments

Microsoft has been given the green light on a new patent that allows the company to revive dead people by turning their digital and real-life footprints into artificial intelligence chatbots.

According to the patent--which was filed on December 1, 2020--the tech allows Microsoft to cull "images, voice data, social media posts, electronic messages, and more personal information" to create a digital profile of someone to build a chatbot of them. While the most obvious application is "to make a chatbot using the personal information of deceased people," the patent notes that it could also "correspond to a past or present entity (or a version thereof), such as a friend, a relative, an acquaintance, a celebrity, a fictional character, a historical figure, a random entity, etc." The tech could even be used to create an AI chatbot of onself.

The patent goes on to say that "living users could train a digital replacement in the event of their death." Should it come to fruition, Microsoft will basically allow people to live forever in cyberspace.

This should sound immediately familiar to any fan of cyberpunk, dystopias, and sci-fi. The patent has drawn a lot of comparisons to an episode from Black Mirror's second season titled "Be Right Back." The episode follows Martha Powell (Hayley Atwell), who decides to resuscitate her boyfriend Ash Starmer (Domhnall Gleeson) as artificial intelligence to keep chatting with him after he dies in a car accident. The facade goes on for so long that later in the episode, it culminates in Martha constructing a synthetic android to recreate (and re-embody) Ash's likeness and mannerisms. Martha ends up hiding the android in the attic from their child.

This patent is also reminiscent of CD Projekt Red's much-maligned Cyberpunk 2077, as a similar fate happens to deuteragonist and legendary rockerboy Johnny Silverhand, whose consciousness gets uploaded to the cloud where he essentially lives on forever in cyberspace.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 3 comments about this story