Mourning the dead is a process that differs by culture, geographic location, customs, and a myriad of other factors. One interesting turn of how technology may augment this process is the work of StoryFile. This company whose purpose is to memorialize Holocaust survivors has been employed at times to let the deceased "attend" and "answer" questions posed to them at their own funerals. Victor Tangermann at Futurism has more.
Marina Smith who passed away in June, was able to address the mourners at her own funeral. StoryFile used 20 cameras to film her answering around 250 questions prior to her death. This data was then fed into a software tool that was able to virtually recreate her after she passed.
The illusion must have been pretty shocking to funeral goers. Stephen Smith was able to converse with the virtual representation of his mother in real time, and even gave attendants the opportunity to ask questions as well.
"Mum answered questions from grieving relatives after they had watched her cremation," Smith told The Telegraph. "The extraordinary thing was that she answered their questions with new details and honesty," he added. "People feel emboldened when recording their data. Mourners might get a freer, truer version of their lost loved one."Futurism
I'd heard of StoryFile's work to preserve the stories and memories of Holocaust survivors earlier in 2022. It's an ambitious and important effort to keep history from being erased or rewritten.
For people like Smith who decided to use this for her own final planning, it feels both comforting and creepy. I am sure she felt a sense of relief to share anything she wanted with the utmost candor. On the attendee side, I could completely understand feeling creeped out by it, especially when you're in the throes of grieving that person's loss.
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction but this gets us closer to the plot of Upload in a small way.
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