Can you Reunite with a Lost Loved One?

In a recent book titled A World without Work, author Daniel Susskind described two fields of computing: computational creativity and affective computing. According to wikipedia, computational creativity is a multidisciplinary endeavour that is located at the intersection of the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, philosophy, and the arts. The goal of computational creativity is to model, simulate or replicate creativity using a computer. This field of computing explores whether Creativity is the Sole Domain of Humans.

In the book referenced above, Daniel Susskind states that machines are now also encroaching on tasks that require our affective capabilities, our capacity for feelings and emotions.This field of computer science is known as affective computing, and is dedicated to building systems that do exactly this. There are systems, for example, that can look at a person’s face and tell whether they are happy, confused, surprised, or delighted.

The video below will make this form of computing real for you. On February 6, 2020, a Korean TV show called Meeting You, which focuses on lost family, reunited a mother with her deceased child in the virtual world. The mom was strapped in a VR headset and brought into a massive green room. She was provided touch-sensitive gloves. This allowed her to move around and even interact with her daughter.

As described by this Article The entire experience probably felt extremely real as the mother was overwhelmed with emotions as she tried her best to caress the virtual model of her child. This points to uses of mixed reality that may not be readily apparent to us. It is likely to be used in many fields including medical. According to research done in 2008, VR does help people to cope with grief. Following the test, researchers discovered that the patient’s mood improved.

The video of the mother interacting with a virtual version of her dead daughter introduces the type of questions society must answer in this exponential age. Will society be receptive towards those interacting with the digital versions of their deceased loved ones? Answer for yourself in the poll below.

6 thoughts on “Can you Reunite with a Lost Loved One?

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