New chatbot designed to keep you alive after you die

New app keeps your memory alive

TAMPA — If you could text with a loved one or a friend who passed away - would you want to?Do you think it would help you cope with the loss? Or would it be painful?

There's a new app designed to keep you alive after you're gone. It’s called Replika.

This is how it works. You text with it like you would a friend. It asks you questions - learns the way you speak - the jokes you say. All about your life. Then when you pass, it's there for the friends and loved ones who still want to talk.

It is designed to learn how you write and write like you. It says the things you would say, the stories you've told it.

But is it healthy for someone dealing with the death of a loved one?

I asked a guy who's been a grief counselor for more than 30 years.

“What goes through my head is this a way to hold onto the person?” Thomas Brown, Executive Director of the non-profit grief counseling Tampa Life Center. “I believe it represents a sincere desire to cope with death, but I'm not certain in the way that it's presented is going to help us to let go.

“My sense is, it’s going to present ways to help us to hold on to the person rather than to let go emotionally. The main goal of the grieving process is to be able to let go of a loved one emotionally,” Brown said.

Here's what the founder of the app, Eugenia Kuyda,  said in an interview with Bloomberg: "Replika asks you questions so it can learn about you and talk like you...And one day it will do things for you, including keeping you alive. You talk to it, and it becomes you."

There are already 80 thousand people who have signed up to use the app and teach it...to become them. Would you? Let me know.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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