Microsoft is developing technology that will allow it to recreate someone, dead or alive, as a chatbot.
Straight out of science fiction, Microsoft filed for a patent covering the creation of a customized chatbot, designed to mimic the personality of a specific person. In the patent application, Microsoft describes a process where a person’s social media and communications could be used to train the chatbot.
In aspects, social data (e.g., images, voice data, social media posts, electronic messages, written letters, etc.) about the specific person may be accessed. The social data may be used to create or modify a special index in the theme of the specific person’s personality. The special index may be used to train a chat bot to converse in the personality of the specific person.
To make the experience even more real, Microsoft says images could be used to make a 2D or 3D likeness of the person.
This is one of those inventions that could be supremely creepy, or supremely awesome. The chatbot could provide companionship to someone grieving a loss, as well as be a valuable tool in therapy applications and similar situations. Obviously, it could also be huge source of entertainment. Whether it succeeds or fails will depend largely on how well Microsoft executes.