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An eerie ‘digital afterlife’ is no longer science fiction. So how do we navigate the risks?

July 5, 2024
theconversation.com
Contributed by: Drex DeFord
Summary
The rapid advancement of the digital afterlife industry is bringing the possibility of interacting with virtual reconstructions of deceased loved ones through AI, VR, and other technologies. Companies in this niche market, such as HereAfter and MyWishes, are developing digital personas based on the data left behind by individuals, raising significant emotional and ethical questions. These technologies offer both comfort and potential psychological harm, blurring the lines between reality and simulation. Issues around consent, privacy, and the potential for misuse call for updated legal frameworks and ethical guidelines, including informed consent and data security measures, to ensure these digital interactions honor the deceased while supporting the emotional health of the living.
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