Across China: AI "resurrects" loved ones for bereaved families-华龙网

Across China: AI "resurrects" loved ones for bereaved families

2024-04-03 15:01:31 听新闻

CHONGQING, April 3 (Xinhua) -- The once fantastical concept from science fiction movies of using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to recreate the appearance, voice and even the exact personality of deceased individuals, enabling interaction between "digital life" and their bereaved families, is becoming a reality in China.

In the run-up to this year's Tomb-Sweeping Day, also known as Qingming Festival, which falls on Thursday, multiple commemorative activities for body and human organ donors were held in Chongqing municipal human organ donation memorial park in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

This year, with the consent of the families of the generous donors, the deceased loved ones can virtually reunite with those still on this earthly plane via the park's big screen free of charge, as part of a special commemoration.

For Huang Jingya, the daughter of a local donor named Diao Panya, the upcoming Qingming Festival has brought a sense of warmth and solace, thanks to this modern technology.

Chongqing's organ donation management center and Fushouyuan international group teamed up to adopt AI technologies to recreate Diao's image in the digital world exclusively for her daughter. Looking at her mother's lively "face" and hearing her gentle whispers, Huang couldn't help but burst into tears.

Diao Panya donated her kidneys and liver after her passing on June 7, 2023, at the age of 48. These organs were then used to save the lives of three patients. Sadly, Diao died suddenly, leaving her with no chance to leave any final words for her family members.

"Sometimes, farewells come too quickly or too late for us to say goodbye," said Jin Leiyi, vice president of Fushouyuan international group and general manager of its western regional branch.

Last December, the company launched an AI commemoration service in six provincial-level regions, namely, Shanghai, Chongqing, Jiangsu, Liaoning, Henan and Jiangxi, which enables families to view the "digital life" of their departed loved ones, offering some solace to their grieving hearts, according to the company.

Given the consent of their families, by integrating the big data and relevant information of the deceased based on the wishes and memories of his or her relatives and friends, a digital replica of the deceased can be created, available only for the family members.

The practice can satisfy the desire of some family members to "talk" with their loved ones once again, and be further developed into a customized online memorial hall to better preserve their common memories about the deceased.

"Her sudden departure from this world left us with eternal regret. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to see my mother again in this way," Huang said.

Such a novel AI application combines AI-generated content (AIGC) and virtual reality technology, which will continue to iterate and optimize multiple technical modules such as character generation, expression, synthetic display, recognition and perception, and virtual reality.

In the future, the digital image of the deceased may even "participate" in memorial activities themselves, which is expected to help his or her family members to better move on in the real world, according to the company.