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Not Lost Forever: The Rise Of Grieftech, For Comfort And Connection

Artificial intelligence is even reshaping the way we grieve. A fascinating look at grieftech chatbots and how some companies are creating vast archives of human experience to provide comfort and connection after a loved one’s passing.

For California-based Justin Harrison, it all began when two major life events coincided. He was in a near-fatal motorbike accident and around the same time, his mother was diagnosed with stage 4 gallbladder cancer. “They didn’t know whether or not I was going to pull through. I was pretty badly hurt. Later, my dad told me a story about him talking to me fresh out of surgery and he said I was talking absolute nonsense. I didn’t make any sense,” says Harrison. “So, he kept asking me the same question over and over again and even though I couldn’t answer it coherently, I started to get really annoyed that he was asking the same question again and again. He said that’s how he knew I was okay.”

Harrison had an aha moment. Throughout his mother’s illness, what he cared about – what he was worried he would miss – was how she would respond to him. “There’s thousands of versions of us and it all depends on who you’re talking to at the time. Everyone experiences a slightly different version of you,” he says And this is how You, Only Virtual (YOV) came to be, Harrison’s AI, grieftech startup where people never have to say goodbye to their loved ones.

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Not Lost Forever: The Rise Of Grieftech, For Comfort And Connection

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