In a previous post, we wrote about Digital After Life Planning for Content Creators (2023), which briefly touched upon an advanced digital after life feature and consideration for content creators: digital avatars and chatbots. In this follow-up article, we want to dive deeper into related AI tools that are becoming more popular as part of digital legacy planning.
These AI avatars and chatbots can simulate a person’s presence, allowing interaction with their digital persona even after their passing. Here’s a look at how these tools fit into digital legacy planning:
- Visual Representation: Digital avatars can be designed to resemble the individual, often using photographs and videos to create a realistic likeness.
- Voice Simulation: Advanced AI can mimic the person’s voice by analyzing audio recordings, enabling the avatar to speak with a familiar tone.
Uses in Legacy Planning
- Interactive Memorials: Family and friends can interact with the avatar, providing a sense of presence and continuity.
- Storytelling: The avatar can narrate stories, share memories, or convey messages recorded or written by the individual before their passing.
Companies known for creating AI avatars
- ObEN: Known for creating Personal AI (PAI) avatars, ObEN uses AI to create a 3D avatar that looks and sounds like the user. These avatars can be used for various purposes, including digital legacy.
- Genies: This company specializes in creating avatars for social media and digital interaction. While not specifically focused on legacy planning, their technology could be adapted for such uses.
- Copresence AG: A technology company that specializes in creating digital avatars using artificial intelligence
- Ready Player Me: A cross-game avatar platform that allows you to create your avatar from a single photo and customize it with hundreds of options
- Soul Machines: A New Zealand company that creates autonomously animated digital people
- Expressive AI: A company that produces “smart avatars”
- Avatar AI: Offers multiple pricing plans, including a Pro plan for $29/month, a Premium plan for $99/month, and a Business plan for $299/month
- Synthesia: Offers realistic and diverse AI avatars and voices
These AI-driven virtual reality avatars use VR and AI to create immersive experiences with the digital avatar. There are also custom avatar creation services that specialize in creating lifelike digital avatars based on personal characteristics. While not every company is focused on digital legacy planning, there are crossovers between the gaming and professional services industries and digital avatars for after life.
- Conversational AI: Chatbots use natural language processing (NLP) to simulate conversation, responding to text inputs in a way that resembles the person’s conversational style.
- Memory and Personality Integration: AI can learn from past writings, social media posts, and recorded conversations to reflect the person’s personality, beliefs, and memories.
Uses in Legacy Planning
- Continued Interaction: Allows loved ones to maintain a form of conversation, asking questions or seeking advice as they might have when the person was alive.
- Digital Companionship: Provides emotional comfort for grieving individuals by simulating a conversation with the departed.
Companies known for creating chatbots
- HereAfter AI: This service allows users to create an AI-driven chatbot that can share stories, memories, and life lessons, effectively allowing family and friends to interact with a digital representation of the user after their passing.
- Replika: While originally designed as an AI companion, Replika’s technology could be adapted to create a personalized chatbot based on an individual’s texts and interactions, making it a potential tool for digital legacy.
- CustomGPT: Accurate ChatGPT responses from your content without making up facts. All within a secure, privacy-first, business-grade platform.
Personalized AI chatbots are services that create a chatbot based on an individual’s digital footprint, like Replika or HereAfter AI. There are also social media-based bots that analyze a person’s social media activity and communications to emulate a person’s style and mannerisms in conversations.
Future of Digital Avatars and Chatbots in Legacy Planning
As AI technology advances, we can expect more nuanced and sophisticated digital avatars and chatbots. They might offer more realistic interactions, better emulate emotional responses, and provide a more comforting and accurate representation of the individual. However, as these technologies evolve, so will the need for robust ethical frameworks and privacy protections to ensure these tools are used respectfully and responsibly.
Ethical and Privacy Considerations
When using these tools, it’s crucial to consider ethical and privacy aspects including but not limited to:
- Consent: Ensuring the individual consented to the use of their likeness and data for such purposes. As this relates to content creators, permissions are needed from the original creator or assigned digital executor to permit such chatbots and/or digital avatars to be created.
- Accuracy: Maintaining the integrity and accuracy of the person’s beliefs and expressions. Chatbots and digital avatars should be reviewed and tested just like any other AI-generated content or tools.
- Data Security: Protecting the data used to create these avatars and chatbots from misuse or unauthorized access.
Other Relevant Technologies
In addition to chatbots and digital avatars, there are other relevant technologies you should be aware of.
- Deepfake Technology: While not a specific brand, deepfake technology can create realistic video and audio representations, and this technology is being explored for creating digital avatars. However, ethical concerns and consent are paramount in this field.
- Voice Cloning Technologies: Companies like Descript (Overdub feature), Elevenlabs offer voice cloning, which could be used to create a realistic digital avatar or chatbot that speaks in the user’s voice.
It’s important to note that these technologies, particularly those involving the recreation of an individual’s likeness or voice, are subject to ethical considerations and should be used with consent and respect for privacy. The field is evolving rapidly, and future advancements are likely to offer even more sophisticated options for digital legacy planning.
Conclusion: Are chatbots and digital avatars worth it to preserve creators’ content and their legacies?
It’s certainly worth exploring! Many accomplished creators are already using tools such as chatbots to help their users and customers better interact with their content.
However, some groundwork needs to be taken care of first much before a creator’s end of life. We discussed them in detail in Digital After Life Planning for Content Creators (2023). Before we dive into chatbots and avatars, it’s necessary to understand the role of a digital executor, perhaps a professional services company to manage our owned content and properties first (website, blog to name a few).
Without preserving our original content first, there’s no ground for additional tools such as chatbots and avatars to stand on.
What are your thoughts and questions related to this topic? And digital after life planning in general? We’d love to know in the comments below.
You might also like…
- Digital After Life Planning for Content Creators (2023)
- How Much Does It Cost To Be A Content Creator? (2023)
- How Can We Preserve and Protect Our Legacy?