A Los Angeles-based startup has developed a ‘holographic conversational video experience’.
StoryFile has developed a mechanism to create a digital clone of the subject by using 20 synchronized cameras to record them answering a series of questions.
Afterward, experts process the footage, tag clips, and use it to train artificial intelligence (AI) that can provide responses to these questions in natural language.
The finished product is then uploaded to the StoryFile platform, which can be interacted with after the individual has passed away.
Those who attend their funeral are then able to speak with their loved ones. The technology makes it seem like a real-time conversation.
The company worked with Star Trek’s William Shatner last year to create a hologram of himself that he said will help ‘preserve his memory and legacy for generations to come.’
One of the first users of the technology was Marina Smith MBE – the mother of StoryFile’s CEO Dr. Stephen Smith – who died in June at the age of 87.
Dr. Smith told The Telegraph: ‘Mum answered questions from grieving relatives after they had watched her cremation. The extraordinary thing was that she answered their questions with new details and honesty. People feel emboldened when recording their data. Mourners might get a freer, truer version of their lost loved one.’
Mrs. Smith was a philanthropist and helped people in need in underdeveloped areas of the UK and the world through volunteering and creating a non-profit.
She purchased a derelict farm in Nottinghamshire in 1978 and turned it into a Christian conference and retreat center with her husband. In 1995, they converted it into the National Holocaust Centre, and it is the only museum in the UK dedicated to Holocaust education currently.
Mrs. Smith was recognized on the Queen’s 2005 New Year’s Honors List with an MBE for services to Holocaust remembrance and education.
In January, she spent several hours over a two-day period recording answers to her Storyfile questions using a webcam and her computer.
Her funeral was held in Babworth on July 29. Her hologram delivered a speech about her life and spirituality, and spoke to her loved ones.
Dr. Smith added: ‘What was most valuable to me as her son, was the fact that my mother was prepared to answer questions about her early childhood.