An AI called Seance AI, built by a software development lab called AE Studio, allows you to talk to dead loved ones. Its creator, a designer named Jarren Rocks, developed this technology.
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As the Greek myth goes, the nymph Eurydice was killed only a few hours after she married the musician Orpheus. Consumed by grief, Orpheus traveled to the Underworld to find his late wife, where he played a song so sad that its rulers Hades and Persephone told the musician that he and Eurydice could go back — albeit under one condition.
All Orpheus had to do was wait until they were back in the land of the living to turn around and see his bride. But he couldn’t wait, and he looked too soon, and Eurydice was forced back into the Underworld. Orpheus lost her all over again.
Throughout narrative history — from ancient mythology to modern stories like “Pet Sematary” — bringing lost loved ones back from the dead has been generally regarded as a pretty big no.
As the tales will tell it, bringing the dead back to life will result in the resurrection of some horrible silhouette, or at the least a vacant one, empty of whatever it was that made that person them. Often, the attempt at resurrection destroys the necromancer, whether by the hand of some macabre force or just the extra heartbreak of losing a loved one twice.
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This millennia-long lineage of warning tales in mind, it’s not terribly hard to understand why some might find grief tech — startups that aim to bottle deceased or dying loved ones into algorithms, in theory preserving them forever — unsettling. Cursed, even. Maybe that’s why most companies operating in the grief tech space market their work as a means of preservation, as opposed to resurrection. Upload your writings, memories, and voice recordings into a service, and it creates an algorithmic version of you that surviving friends and family can interface with.
After all, you can’t resurrect someone you’ve never actually lost. Right?
But fascinatingly, that’s where an upcoming service called Seance AI — yes, it’s actually called that — sets itself apart. It’s built by a software development lab called AE Studio, where its creator, a designer named Jarren Rocks, isn’t shy about the straightforwardness of the product’s name. While other companies often talk around any implication of resurrection, Rocks leans full-tilt into the ghoulishness — and according to him, it’s very intentional.
“We’re trying to make it sound as magical and as mystical as possible,” Rocks told Futurism, saying the name is a call to attention over how advanced large language model (LLM) tech has gotten.
LLMs, after all, are convincing simulacra. People are forming deep parasocial bonds with them, and at least one person is alleged to have died as a result of their interactions with an AI chatbot. If a user is looking for a final conversation with someone they’ve lost, maybe it is better to give them a product that blatantly claims to allow them a brief conversation with the deceased, rather than imply that the soul of a dead friend or parent is trapped in ChatGPT. (Seance AI is powered by OpenAI’s API.)
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