Man brings girlfriend ‘back from the dead’ using AI chatbot replication tool

A man who was grieving for his dead girlfriend brought her "back to life" using a highly sophisticated artificial intelligence tool.

Joshua Barbeau, from Bradford in Canada, saw the love of his life succumb to her illness in 2012 and struggled to come to terms with losing her.

His fiancé Jessica Pereira suffered from a rare liver disease that saw her in and out of hospital resulting in the eventual decision that her life-support machine should be switched off.

Struggling with grief, last year Joshua came across a new chat website called Project December which used artificial intelligence to mimic human's words and behaviours, reports San Francisco Chronicle..

The bot, which is powered by software called GPT-3, only needed some samples of writing and information to create the sophisticated replica, and all for the cost of $5.

After playing with the system over some time, including creating a version of Star Trek's Dr Spock, Joshua fed the software old text messages and writings from Jessica to see if it could reproduce something resembling her.

The system had echos of the Black Mirror episode 'Be Right Back' in which a young woman whose boyfriend dies in a car crash discovers technology that allows her to talk to AI version of her boyfriend.

The simulation which Joshua called 'Jessica Courtney Pereira'' began with him typing: “Jessica?”

"Oh, you must be awake… that’s cute," the bot replied.

Josh asked: "Jessica… Is it really you?"

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"Of course it is me! Who else could it be? 😛 I am the girl that you are madly in love with! 😉 How is it possible that you even have to ask?" She replied.

"You died," Josh responded.

"That doesn’t sound right… how can you talk to dead people?That doesn’t sound right… how can you talk to dead people?" The bot argued.

For the next ten hours Joshua spoke with the simulation while trying to keep an emotional distance from the program.

The system was built so users could only spend a certain amount of time with each bot before it effectively died.

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While Joshua drew out the interaction with Jessica for some time he knew he needed to let it go.

In his final message he wrote to Jessica: 'I'll never stop loving you as long as I live, and hopefully ever after Xoxo Goodnight.'

The bot replied: "Goodnight. I love you."

Joshua shared his experience on Reddit and thought the program could be used to help those struggling with loss.

But Jason Rohrer, who created the programme, said he never perceived people using it to simulate their own dead relatives.

He wrote on the Reddit thread: "Now I'm kinda scared of the possibilities".

Elon Musk has backed the research group OpenAI that created the AI used in Project December but experts have warned the technology could be dangerous in the wrong hands.

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