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'You absolutely don't need consent from someone who's dead'

What does the future of grief and loss look like? An AI company called You, Only Virtual is creating chatbots modeled after deceased loved ones, with its founder, Justin Harrison, telling “Good Morning America” that he hopes people won’t have to feel grief at all.

You, Only Virtual scans text messages, emails and phone calls shared between an individual and the deceased person to create a chatbot that composes original written or audio responses mimicking the deceased person’s voice and modeling the relationship and rapport that the two shared in life.

The company, founded in 2020, hopes to offer a video-chat option later this year, “and ultimately provide augmented-reality that allows for interaction with a three-dimensional projection,” GMA reported.

Harrison, who used the technology to create “a virtual mom” after his mother died, rejected possible privacy concerns raised by the use of personal conversations to build a chatbot without the consent of the deceased.

"You absolutely don't need consent from someone who's dead," he said. "My mom could've hated the idea, but this is what I wanted and I'm alive."

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