Analyze an ethical case

As technology impacts most aspects of our lives, it also affects the way we respond to death, and mourn. Not too many years ago, for example people grieving after a death didn’t have to worry about memorializing loved ones’ social media accounts, about including “digital assets” in a will, about being painfully reminded of their loss by a company’s well-intended but ill-considered “engagement” efforts, or about potentially losing treasure troves of memories if a photo hosting platform shut down.

The sadness is as old as the world, but people, through technology, respond to it in new ways. One such recent development is the creation of “griefbots.” An article titled “The Griefbot that Could Change How We Mourn” details in particular the work of a data scientist, Muhammad Ahmad, who hopes that artificial intelligence will “eventually allow us to craft the data left behind by an individual into convincing text-based simulations of that person. “Such simulations would “respond when prompted, imitating the deceased’s intonation, tone, and idiosyncrasies.”

Ahmad has been working on his own “griefbot.” The project was a response to a personal loss—the death of his father. It is an effort to reclaim (or continue) interactivity with someone who has died. Beyond the interaction with those who knew the deceased, however, Ahmad also envisions a kind of interactivity that would span generations: When his father died four years ago, Ahmad lamented the fact that any future children he would have would never be able to bond with their grandfather. He drew on his previous research, … and spent the last few years collecting data his father had left behind, such as audio or video recordings, text messages, and transcripts of letters. This information has allowed him to create a messenger program that (he claims) can imitate his father. …

Ahmad now has a 2-year-old daughter, and as he continues to evolve his simulation (he’s currently exploring how to enable it respond to images and adapt to new contexts), he hopes that one day she’ll form the appearance of a connection with her grandfather.

  1. Is the development of “grief bots” ethical? Justify your answer using the philosophical lens.

    Full mark Requirements: All parts of the question are correctly answered • A clear justification stating the logic behind the answer is provided with the answer • Complete and correct sentences are used.

    analyze the case in an ethical perspective

    use the slides to help you , it is very simple

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