Microsoft patent creates chatbot for the deceased


Do you remember the episode “Be Right Back”, the first of the second season of Black Mirror? In it, the character played by Hayley Atwell hires a service that creates an artificial intelligence based on tastes, personality and way of talking about the deceased husband (Domhnall Gleeson), sending the result initially as a virtual contact and later as a kind of android – the which initially generates happiness for the protagonist, who soon begins to realize how complex the situation is.

Microsoft’s technology licensing department has been granted permission to register a patent with a feature that closely resembles this premise: creating a fully virtual chatbot capable of simulating the personality of a real person.

“Creating a conversational chat bot for a specific person” is the intellectual property registered by the company in 2017, approved only in December 2020. Who discovered the registration was the Protocol website.

How it works?

The technology would require permission for a user’s social data, such as images, voice data, social media postings and even written letters – something essential for identifying patterns of form and style. The system is then fed with this information, as in any machine learning, getting better as new information is provided. A text or even voice terminal is also mentioned in the patent, but everything could also happen via the cloud. The specific case of creating a deceased person’s chatbot is cited as one of the possibilities of using the system.

As a last step, the patent indicates practical uses, such as application in answering services, instant messengers, portals and social networks. In other words, the objective may involve the “resurrection” of personalities of people who are already dead, but the simplest idea – and which comes up against less ethical issues – is to create a chat with a less robotic personality and closer to the person. human.

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It is worth remembering that not every registration results in a commercial product, with several being only legally protected by the company or used for purely scientific purposes. In addition, this may just be a test of technology for other applications in artificial intelligence that can take several years to put into practice.

The full patent can be read on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website.


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