Microsoft patented a method for digital human reincarnation

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(ORDO NEWS) — Apparently, in the near future, another plot of “Black Mirror” will become a reality. Microsoft has filed a patent for a system that can transform anyone’s personality into an intelligent chatbot.

From the documentation that is available on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) resource, it is difficult to judge at what stage the development is. But the described functionality of the system evokes clear associations with works of art in the cyberpunk genre. In fact, Microsoft is going to create digital copies of living or deceased individuals in the form of an intelligent digital interlocutor.

The chatbot’s psychological profile will be formed based on a whole range of different data. Among them are images, voice, social media posts, emails and messenger messages. Essentially, any form of information that describes or is created by the right person. On the basis of this data, a special index is created, which will determine the characteristic features of the “personality” of the bot. Judging by the use of the term “training”, the algorithm will include neural networks, but this is not directly indicated in the application.

But it describes in detail the schemes for implementing such a service. To download information about a person who needs to be “reincarnated”, both mobile devices (tablet or smartphone) and any computers can be used. The system will be client-server: it is planned to use a remote web portal to create an index, train the bot and store all data.

In addition to a text chat bot that imitates the personality traits of a particular person, the product of this service can be a two-dimensional or three-dimensional graphic model of a person, as well as a personalized voice synthesizer. That is, “reincarnation” will not only write like a real person. She will be able to look and speak like the right person. The application does not specify whether this development is intended to simulate living people, or whether it is going to be used to digitally resurrect those who have already died.

Digitization of personality is a popular plot of science fiction films and books. Among the most famous works, one can recall the first episode of the second season of the Black Mirror series. The plot of this episode of a dystopian anthology tells the story of a woman who has lost her beloved man. She cannot cope with grief and becomes a client of a service that recreates a digital copy of a deceased person. Artificial intelligence imitates her deceased partner by reading all the notes that he made on social networks.

Similar ideas have already been tried several times with varying success. The plot of “Black Mirror” was actually quoted by Yevgenia Kuida after her close friend and colleague Roman Mazurenko died in a car accident. An IT journalist and entrepreneur, Evgeniya encouraged a team of programmers to create a chatbot that mimics Roman.

The algorithm was trained on a sample of data composed of posts, messages, and texts written by Mazurenko. Such a “resurrection” of a deceased friend did not bring relief to any of the deceased’s relatives. However, the work was not in vain, it formed the basis of the Replika application. It was released in 2018 and is a virtual interlocutor who is able to maintain a conversation and help to cope with difficult periods in life.


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