The internet has made grieving easier: Website memorials, communal grieving across social media, online messenger services offering support—they’ve all made bereavement more social, more accessible, less taboo.
To Muhammad Ahmad, though, what might seem like the digital age of mourning feels dated. Ahmad wants to radically transform how we mourn. The data scientist believes artificial intelligence will eventually allow us to craft the data left behind by an individual into convincing text-based simulations of that person. Dubbed “griefbots,” they’ll respond when prompted, imitating the deceased’s cadence, tone, and idiosyncrasies. Ahmad thinks these griefbots could make grieving for loved ones an interactive experience.