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Microsoft Wants to Reanimate You as a “Conversational” Chatbot After You Die

Straight outta Black Mirror…

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Black Mirror creator Charlie Booker made headlines earlier this year when he stated that the world was bleak enough without a new season of the infamously dark Netflix series. During the Trump and Covid years, many commentators have observed that reality seems to have matched and even outpaced the dire predictions of the world’s science fiction authors.

However, Black Mirror brought an especially sharp edge to the genre, so closely mirroring our own society’s disintegration into techno-dystopian chaos that at times it felt like a real-time satire that was a bit too on the nose.

Now, in a move that eerily invokes a number of Black Mirror plot arcs, reality seems to be trying to reclaim its monopoly on dystopia. The tech giant Microsoft has filed a patent for software that can “revive” a version of a person who has died and use that version as the basis for a conversational chatbot.

The patent describes harvesting “social data,” which includes images, voice data, emails, text messages, social media posts, written letters, user profile and behavioral data, transactional data, geo-location data and more, in order to “modify a personalized chat index in the theme of certain person’s personality. This personality may resemble anyone for whom enough social data can be found and could also be a historical figure, a fictional character, or a celebrity.

In other words, Microsoft plans to take the concept of data mining even further, imagining that even after we die it can continue to collect the digital breadcrumbs we’ve left behind online and on our computer devices. It further fancies reassembling those relics to construct lifelike character-versions of our personalities, mannerisms, and behaviors.

Obviously, not every patent leads to a finished product and many corporations, especially the Big Tech behemoths, file rafts of moonshot patents every year in the anticipation of future developments. But the very fact that Microsoft would see potential here strikes some as haunting, especially given our recent experience with the first generation of celebrity holograms.

It begs the question: would the average person want a chatbot themed off them guiding consumers through a user interface? Would consumers even want that? A chatbot themed on Elvis or Groucho Marx makes more sense, but a deceased friend or family member?

As noted by RT, Black Mirror‘s creative synergy has been oddly prescient, depicting the “social credit score” scenario before it was firmly on the public radar. There is also an episode in which a pop singer, played by Miley Cyrus, is algorithmically simulated by her record label so that when the real-life singer dies they can continue making money off her likeness forever.

Clearly, Microsoft is willing to invest in the R&D needed to explore the idea of chatbots themed off our personalities, but would such an idea fly? Even if they are able to elude the uncanny valley associated with machine simulations of humans, would the average person want to interact with a digital recreation of a dead loved one?

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Video Showing UFOs Swarming Navy Warship is Real, Pentagon Confirms

Elias Marat

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Late last month, reports emerged that a number of U.S. Navy guided missile destroyers sailing off the coast near Los Angeles encountered a swarm of strange unidentified flying objects or drones in 2019. While Navy investigators looked into the strange incident, no explanation has since been given.

However, new footage has been leaked to documentary filmmaker Jeremy Corbell that shows the strange flying objects swarming above one of the ships, and the Pentagon has confirmed that the videos are authentic.

“I can confirm that the referenced photos and videos were taken by Navy personnel,” a Department of Defense spokesperson told Futurism.

In the brief footage, which appears to have been recorded with night vision cameras, triangular or pyramid-shaped objects can be seen hovering above the deck of a Navy destroyer.

According to Corbell, the Pentagon has gone to great lengths to disavow any connection to the swarming UAVs.

“This was taken on deployment from the USS Russell,” Corbell told Mystery Wire. “It shows what they described as vehicles. And they made a great distinction. They made sure in this classified briefing, they made a great distinction that this is not something that we own either a black project, this is not something of a foreign military, that these were behaving in ways that we did not expect.

“And that they were you know shaped non aerodynamically,” he added. “Like pyramids, these are flying pyramids!”

The video, as well as a number of photos from the incident, have all been gathered by the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, a group tasked with investigating encounters between the different service branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and a number of unidentified flying objects.

While officials have been baffled by the unknown flying objects, in recent years the Pentagon has been more vocal about past encounters, which they describe as having been frequent. Officials have also discouraged the use of the acronym “UFOs,” instead opting to describe them as unidentified aerial phenomena or UAPs.

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Prince Philip Joke About Reincarnating as Deadly Virus to ‘Solve Overpopulation’ Resurfaces

Elias Marat

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The Friday announcement of the death of Prince Philip elicited a range of reactions on social media, with some users eulogizing the late royal while others used the occasion to heap mockery upon the British monarchy.

However, others also shared an old quote from the Prince Philip where he bizarrely suggested that after he died, his wish would be that he is reincarnated as a deadly virus in order to help solve the so-called problem of overpopulation.

The decidedly anti-social quote was taken from a 2009 article published by The Guardian that listed out a number of controversial and generally distasteful quotes from the Queen’s husband on various subjects.

The full quote read: “In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation.”

Tweeting a screenshot of the quote, user Riya said: “WHAT THE F*CK.”

While others replied to the misanthropic quote with a reference to the ongoing pandemic:

The Daily Express notes that the quote originates from a joking comment about deadly viruses that the prince made in a 1988 interview with Deutsche Press-Agentur. The quote was also widely shared during the initial outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

Buckingham Palace announced the death of Prince Philip, royal consort to Queen Elizabeth II, on Friday morning.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” the announcement read. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”

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Company Sells Sex Robot ‘Clones’ Of Dead Partners Using 3D-Modeling Technology

Elias Marat

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For many people who have lost their significant others, sex dolls have provided one way to ease the pain of grief and loneliness.

However, sex robot company Lux Botics is taking things one step further – by offering a clone of dead partners using state-of-the-art three-dimensional modeling.

With demand for sex dolls booming amid the ongoing pandemic and lockdowns across the world, Lux Botics is offering “ultra-realistic humanoids” to satisfy the carnal needs of the singles without any other recourse.

The company’s flagship “Adult Companion” model called Stephanie goes for USD $6,000 on the Lux Botics website.

The model includes speech control, facial recognition, a “hyper realistic eyes” option and even the option of implanted real hair, as well as limited AI capabilities.

However, the company also offers the option of creating a facsimile of a lost loved one.

The company can either create a 3D model through detailed modeling prior to it being printed in ultra-fine resolution, or it can rely on photos of the individual.

A mould would then be constructed based on the 3D model, complete with a robot skeleton. The robot is then painted and fitted with the lips, nails, eyebrows and other features the customer chooses.

“We can make robots that talk but we have not made robots that truly walk on their own,” Lux Botics co-founder Bjorn told Daily Star UK. “We hope to develop this in the near future. We can make a large number of body parts that can move in a realistic manner.”

While the company hasn’t yet created body doubles, Lux Botics is offering the choice to customers.

Since the start of the pandemic, people have been desperate to cope with the solitude of self-isolation and lockdown measures. While many have resorted to traditional measures like purchasing a pet or using dating apps, sex doll sales have also skyrocketed as people seek an emotional crutch.

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