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    The Verge | Casey Newton | 10/6/16 | 26 min
    7 reads6 comments
    9.9
    The Verge
    7 reads
    9.9
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    • readup1 month ago

      Someday you will die, leaving behind a lifetime of text messages, posts, and other digital ephemera. For a while, your friends and family may put these digital traces out of their minds. But new services will arrive offering to transform them — possibly into something resembling Roman Mazurenko’s bot.

    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Reposting. This is the paragraph that I can’t stop thinking about:

      Reading through the Roman bot’s responses, it’s hard not to feel like the texts captured him at a particularly low moment. Ask about Stampsy and it responds: “This is not [the] Stampsy I want it to be. So far it’s just a piece of shit and not the product I want.” Based on his friends’ descriptions of his final years, this strikes me as a candid self-assessment. But I couldn’t help but wish I had been talking to a younger version of the man — the one who friends say dreamed of someday becoming the cultural minister of Belarus, and inaugurating a democratically elected president with what he promised would be the greatest party ever thrown.

      It’s crazy to think that we are what we say, but that’s what this has me thinking — that we are the words we use. And it makes me want to use more positive language, everywhere. I’m horrified to think of what a bot of me would say if it was trained on the language I’ve been using for the last few months. Lots of practical life lessons in this article, and in all real life sci-fi stories like this.

      Totally my jam, I can’t recommend this enough.

    • sjwoo1 month ago

      I guess it was just a matter of time until an episode of Black Mirror became reality. If you haven't seen the episode mentioned in the article, you absolutely should -- it's one of the best.

      No doubt there will be money in this -- I used a "shoebox scan" service many years back to have my shoebox full of photographs scanned into files by a machine. It's not hard to fathom a similar service in the future where you can feed someone's texts, emails, and photos to a server and have it crank them out. You could even have a party-type of chat with all of your dead friends together. Then after you're dead, you can join the neverending conversation, the machine talking to itself.

      As far as the writer wanting to talk to a younger, more optimistic version of Mazurenko, that can be easily done since just about all communication is timestamped. So you should be able to ask for Joe Schmoe at 21.

      I can't say I'm for it or against it; doesn't matter, as it's bound to happen. Too much money for it not to.

    • Ruchita_Ganurkar
      Scout
      1 month ago

      Of course 10! Memories have their voice and can speak not only in mind but in reality. There had to be a reevaluation of death and sorrow. Read about Kuyda. What she'd found after Mazurenko’s death. The powerful tools for coping with loss. These results can be seen in some of today’s most innovative products. The speech recognition behind Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, or the image recognition that powers Google Photos, owe their abilities to this so-called deep learning.

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        1 month ago

        I agree. Since there are new ways to stay alive in spirit after we’re dead, we need to be prepared. To re-evaluate.

    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      1 month ago

      Fascinating. 🆙👍✅