(OPINION) People around the world are starting to flock to “grief tech” for answers, much like Saul flocked to the medium of Endor when he wanted answers from the deceased prophet Samuel. But what is grief tech, and is it abominable as the Lord finds the practice of necromancy and sorcery?
According to Charisma, Grief tech is a growing practice of AI algorithms gathering data from people, such as their voice, photos, video, text messages, emails and any other bit of information a person can input into the program, so that when they die the AI will interact with their loved ones as if it were them.
There are already programs that can create digital avatars of the person, including holograms. This will allow a widow to have a conversation with her dead “husband” but in actuality is performed by the AI.
Séance AI, who chose that particular name on purpose, are trying to replicate an actual spiritual séance, like Saul did with the medium.
Jarren Rocks, creator of Séance AI, said in an interview with Futurism that he “likens his product to an AI-generated Ouija board for closure, rather than a means of immortality.”
That should raise a red flag for all Christians, and reveals the purpose and intent. After all, the Lord looks at the heart, not the outer appearance.
“It’s essentially meant to be a short interaction that can provide a sense of closure. That’s really where the main focus is here,” Rocks says. “It’s not meant to be something super long-term. In its current state, it’s meant to provide a conversation for closure and emotional processing.”
The Lord did not ban the practice of necromancy because He did not want His people getting closure, He forbade the practice due to the involvement of evil spirits and the spiritual ramifications that He found abhorrent.
But where is the line drawn?
Some will undoubtedly see this as simply a simulation, a compilation of recordings that people will be aware is an AI algorithm. In the throws of grief, however, the short-term benefits may be outweighed by the possible long-term dangers.
“There is evidence from multiple studies that proximity seeking [behaviors aimed at restoring a closeness with the person who died] is actually linked with poorer mental health outcomes,” says Dr. Kirsten Smith, Clinical Research fellow at the University of Oxford.
“Proximity-seeking behaviors may block someone forging a new identity without the deceased person or prevent them from making new meaningful relationships.
It might also be a way of avoiding the reality that the person has died, a key factor in adapting to the loss,” she adds. The science fiction has been out on this topic for decades. Except it is no longer fiction, the possibility of this happening has arrived.