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Speaking to Dead People with Artificial Intelligence (AI) - StoryFile Life Uses AI to Create Conversations with Real People Living or Passed

StoryFile Life - Have a conversation with William Shatner.
StoryFile Life - Have a conversation
with William Shatner.

Imagine future generations being able to have a conversation with you long after you've passed away. That's the basic premise of StoryFile Life a technology service using artificial intelligence to generate a conversational video experience with real people, even after they've passed away.

In many ways their service is science fiction becoming science fact. Picture that scene in Superman the Movie (1978) where Kal-El (a.k.a. Superman) is inside the Fortress of Solitude, conversing with his long deceased father, Jor-El. 

Superman talks with Jor-El in the Fortress of Solitude. Superman The Movie (1978)
Superman talks with Jor-El in the Fortress of Solitude.
Superman The Movie (1978)

He's actually speaking to a recording of his real father controlled by some kind of AI so that they can interact as if his father was still alive and in the room.

In essence that's what StoryFile Life is. The subject, while they are still alive, record themselves answering questions covering a range of topics, that give people some insight into who that person is, what they're about, their thoughts, ideas, anecdotes etc.

The recorded video is then put into a database that an AI can access and serve up to StoryFile Life's user interface, which is basically an interactive video player. 

The video plays the subject sitting idle on a loop so it looks like you're talking to an actual living person. Then, either use your microphone to ask anything you like, or type your questions if you prefer. The AI will process your question and serve up what it thinks are the most relevant answers recorded and spoken by the subject. Thus it feels more like a conversation with an actual person.

It's not a completely seamless experience by any means. You can see the cuts between videos, and the answers may not always be exactly the response you were looking for (if the subject never specifically answered the question you asked) but it is a very intuitive system that could be augmented a lot more with AI as the technology improves.

For example visual AI's may be able to more seamlessly switch between recordings so you don't see the cuts, or an AI may be able to formulate better responses to questions not specifically answered by the subject (by that I mean create more seamless generic responses that do not make the subject say something they would never say - such as a statement that goes against their moral beliefs).

You can see for yourself this technology in action as StoryFile Life has a number of free demonstration videos on their site (and more here on their main site) including William Shatner (yes Captain Kirk himself). If you are stuck for questions to ask, all of the videos do have example questions, and the list of actual questions that the subject answered. 

Personally I found it more fun, and more of a conversation, if you just wing it with questions and see what you get. No need to feel embarrassed by long silences or awkward pauses. While it does feel a bit like a Zoom call, the person you're speaking to is not actually there. They'll sit patiently waiting for as long as you need.

Create your own StoryFile. Image via StoryFile Life website.
Create your own StoryFile.
Image via StoryFile Life website.

StoryFile Life is free to try and allows anyone to make their own StoryFile. All you need is a computer, tablet, or mobile phone with a camera and you're good to go. Videos can be shared to social media or via email.

Pricing is within most budgets too with most plans being a one time fee.

Definitely makes for a unique way to remember a loved one.


Note: TET.Life is not affiliated with StoryFile Life in any way. This story is featured as part of my ongoing interest in how AI's are being utilized to create services that seemed beyond the capabilities of machines just a few years ago.


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