A 24-year-old man imported several photos of his grandmother into the programs to create a realistic avatar.
A Shanghai man recently posted a video in which he used artificial intelligence to create a digital version of his late grandmother, yangtse.com reported on Monday.
The 24-year-old man uses the handle Wu Wuliu on Bilibili, one of the country’s most popular video-sharing platforms. He posted the video in honor of his grandmother, who died in January. Wu said his grandmother raised him when he was a child and they had a close relationship, adding that he only exchanged a few simple words with her during his final days and cannot cope with the loss.
As a visual designer, Wu came up with the idea of “bringing her back” by mimicking her looks, voice, personality, and memories through AI apps. He imported several photos of his grandmother into the programs to create a realistic avatar, and then sent her verbal messages to simulate her voice and accent. Finally, he turned the AI language into conversations that could take place between him and his grandmother.
Grandma winks and laughs
The “grandmother” can blink her eyes, nod her head and even laugh heartily. When Wu asked if she had prepared holiday goods for the Spring Festival, she said in dialect, “I bought two bottles of cooking oil and they smell good.”
When Wu asked what she told her father when she was alive, she said, “I told him not to drink too much, save money and stop gambling.”
Upon talking with her, Wu said he could ease the pain of her loss, adding that he knew it was a comforting illusion.
Reactions from Internet users were mixed. Some supported Wu, as people “reconnecting” with deceased loved ones through the help of AI can bring comfort. Others felt that such a retort is meaningless and could keep people trapped in their memories.
“From a psychological perspective, compared to traditional items like posthumous photographs and personal belongings, AI technology can better preserve the image and personality of deceased loved ones, providing comfort to the bereaved,” said Chen Zhilin, psychological counselor national level.
“However, over-reliance on it should be avoided. Most importantly, we must learn to value the present.”