At the end of last year, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Microsoft a patent for a technology to create chatbots based on personal data of real people. The document explicitly states that they are planned to be used to recreate the personalities of deceased family members, so that loved ones can conduct dialogues with them, as if they were still alive.
Fahim Hussein, Associate Professor at the Department of Innovation at the University of Arizona, told Reuters in April 2020 that it is technically possible to create a virtual avatar of any person based on open data about him from social networks. Photos, videos, voice samples from audio recordings, analysis of likes and hobby information, data on professional and financial activity. All this can be obtained and used even without the consent of the person himself.
The Microsoft patent describes the same thing, only it also suggests using e-mail for a comprehensive study of personality. Next, using artificial intelligence, a model with specific parameters is created, which serves as an add-on for the chatbot, and makes it imitate a real person. If you wish, you can add a picture of the interlocutor to your avatar or even create a 3D copy of a person for the convenience of communicating with him.
It is possible that Microsoft simply made a reserve for the future, staked out a place in the market of funeral services. If in the past we remembered those who left this world, looking at their photos, then later it became possible to record a voice, and then a video. These family chronicles are dear to people, which means that as technology develops, new forms will appear to preserve the memory of the dead - images for virtual reality, holograms, and so on. Perhaps, personal chat bots will find their place in this area.