all posts tagged 'caitlin dewey'

All my beautiful AI children

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

Because of my experience with Remini — and despite my natural and deep-seated antipathy toward tech solutionism of all sorts — it’s impossible for me to dismiss or decry grief tech out of hand. At present, at least half a dozen high-profile start-ups claim they can train interactive chatbots or video avatars to mimic the personalities of the dead; tech-savvy mourners have also turned several general AI apps, such as Remini and Paradot, to grief tech applications. 

These services — marketed under names like Project December, You Only Virtual, HereAfter AI and Seance AI — raise pressing, significant questions around issues like privacy, predatory marketing and consent. What happens if grandma doesn’t want to “live” forever? Or her platform ups the cost of a premium subscription? Other commentators and ethicists — including, just last week, the prominent sociologist Sherry Turkle — have voiced concerns that grief tech blurs the boundary between the living and the dead and locks the bereaved in a sort of limbo. Such critics assume that the bereaved cannot spot the illusion of AI chatbots for themselves, and, moreover, that the bereaved should not indulge themselves in any comforting fantasies about death.

But people take comfort in all sorts of stories; I no longer feel wise enough to judge them for that.

First off, huge respect to Caitlin Dewey for sharing this story. It takes guts to be vulnerable and share something this intimate.

Second, consider me privileged, because I would have never considered miscarriage grief as a use case for artificial intelligence.

People grieve in all sorts of ways. It’s not up to me (or you, or anybody) to judge, but it is up to us to show up for each other and be helpful.

I know how important journaling is to my mental health. There’s something cathartic about forcing yourself to stare directly at your thoughts, putting words to the vague feelings that gnaw at you incessantly.

I can only imagine how cathartic it may feel to someone to see a rendering of what could have been. To give yourself some closure on the possibilities you dreamed for yourself and your future family.

Again, I’m not here to judge or endorse. I find myself once again just impressed at how people are able to figure out how to take technology and use it to deal with their problems.

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