Carpe diem. Seize the day!
That’s the premise behind the new legacy platform from HereAfter AI.
This interactive platform enables you to record the memories of the people you love while they’re living so these memories are preserved and you’ll never lose the sound of their voice. Yet, it goes a bit further than that.
HereAfter AI not only records and preserves memories, but it also preserves the very essence of that person—their entire personality, quirks and all.
James Vlahos, HereAfter AI’s cofounder and CEO explained, “They are this digital agent that’s modeled after the person who created it,” Vlahos says. “It shares primarily their life story and memories, and secondarily, their persona, their personality; the way they talk, their jokes, their wisdom, that type of thing.”
Vlahos scrambled to create HereAfter AI’s predecessor, DadBot, after his father, who was a former sports announcer, lawyer and esteemed member of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. In an effort to preserve the essence of his father, he created a one-of-a-kind platform that prompts the loved one to verbally answer story-inspiring questions and records their replies. The platform’s AI technology then takes these recordings and creates a custom voice avatar or the synthetic version of that person’s voice created by strings upon strings of digital code.
Over time, enough memories and conversations are recorded that family members and close friends can “chat” with their loved ones even after they pass by speaking to the app or to smartphone speakers such as Siri or Alexa. They can ask them questions like, “What’s your earliest memory?” or “What was the model of your first car?” or “How did you meet mom?” The avatar, which sounds exactly like the deceased – unique voice inflections and all – can reply to these questions with stories, memories and advice.
This invention has implications that reach beyond remembrance. If generations of family members record their memories and thoughts into HereAfter AI, a whole new way of looking at genealogy opens up.
“Imagine seeing your full family tree, going back generations,” Vlahos said. “But instead of just learning basic facts – birth dates, marriages, names of children – you can actually have conversations with your ancestors. You can learn about their lives through engaging stories. You can get a sense of their personalities.”
Not to say an avatar is in any way a replacement for the living loved one. But at least it gives us something to hold on to, and a gift to share with later generations. Just like Vlahos told NPR, “You know, I’m not under any delusion that I’ve somehow created this, you know, robot version of my dad from science fiction. Like, my real dad is gone, and I and the family have to mourn that. But I have created something that shares nice memories of him and brings him to life, I hope, in little vivid ways.”
There’s not much more that we could ask for than that.
[Creating voice avatars on the HereAfter AI platform is free. Plans for sharing the avatars with family members start at $7.99 per month. To learn more, visit their website.]