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Recommendations from Pocket Users

Casey Newton

Shared October 6, 2016

When her best friend died, she rebuilt him using artificial intelligence. So pleased to share this one with you:

It has been less than a year since Mazurenko died, and he continues to loom large in the lives of the people who knew him. When they miss him, they send messages to his avatar, and they feel closer to him when they do. “There was a lot I didn’t know about my child,” Roman’s mother told me. “But now that I can read about what he thought about different subjects, I’m getting to know him more. This gives the illusion that he’s here now.”

Her eyes welled with tears, but as our interview ended her voice was strong. “I want to repeat that I’m very grateful that I have this,” she said.

Kat Li

Shared October 11, 2016

Haunting read about the future of memory preservation for the dead.

Gary Illyes

Shared December 27, 2016

Chat bots that mimic the dead, giving the illusion that they're the person that left us. Yay or nay? Why?

Annelouise Verboon

Shared October 22, 2016

Fascinating is exactly the word I would use. If my friend would die part of me would love a bot that talkes the same. An other part might cry at every answer it gives, knowing it's from a bot, but I and the person is still dead

Chad Mazzola

Shared November 11, 2016

Eugenia Kuyda

Sar Haribhakti

Shared October 8, 2016

In February, Kuyda asked her engineers to build a neural network in Russian. At first she didn’t mention its purpose, but given that most of the team was Russian, no one asked questions. Using more than 30 million lines of Russian text, Luka built its second neural network. Meanwhile, Kuyda copied hundreds of her exchanges with Mazurenko from the app Telegram and pasted them into a file. She edited out a handful of messages that she believed would be too personal to share broadly. Then Kuyda asked her team for help with the next step: training the Russian network to speak in Mazurenko’s voice.

Florents Tselai

Shared October 8, 2016

So, your friend dies and you bring him back to life by building an AI on top of his digital footprint.


Who’s your best friend?, she asked.

Don’t show your insecurities, came the reply.

It sounds like him, she thought.

Phidelia Imiegha

Shared October 9, 2016

This is overwhelming. I don't know how to react.

James Corbett

Shared October 11, 2016

Black Mirror storyline made real

Vandana Guru

Shared November 14, 2016

Extremely moving!

Aditya Muralidhar

Shared March 11, 2017

What a read. I half want to believe that it didn't happen but then the other half.

Aishwarya Maurya

Shared June 11, 2017

Be right back...?

Aleksandr Tkach

Shared October 19, 2016

It had been three months since Roman Mazurenko, Kuyda’s closest friend, had died. Kuyda had spent that time gathering up his old text messages, setting aside the ones that felt too personal, and feeding the rest into a neural network built by developers at her artificial intelligence startup. She had struggled with whether she was doing the right thing by bringing him back this way. At times it had even given her nightmares. But ever since Mazurenko’s death, Kuyda had wanted one more chance to speak with him.

Aarón García del Real Lozano

Shared October 31, 2016

¿Se imaginan chatear con un ser querido que ya falleció? Parece una historia sacada de un capítulo de #BlackMirror pero esto ya se puede hacer con todos los rastros que vamos dejando en nuestro Whatsapp, Facebook, etc...

Igual tendremos que actualizar nuestro testamento para saber qué pasará con nosotros -digitalmente- antes de morir. Who knows...

Anna Savina

Shared October 6, 2016

We present different aspects of ourselves to different people, and after infusing a bot with all of your digital interactions, your loved ones may see sides of you that you never intended to reveal.

Jasen Farmer

Shared October 7, 2016

Great @verge peace on #chatbot tech that brings #AI closer to connecting with people as they used to be #death

Cole Kennedy

Shared October 13, 2016

This is beautiful.

Gaurav Rekhi

Shared October 9, 2016

And we now enter that phase of tech where it really, really, really gets tricky. Like building a mimic bot for a close friend who passed away. Difficult to take a side on this without thinking much deeper

Pim Nauts

Shared October 8, 2016

Een chatbot als memoriam voor de doden. Is dit dan het eeuwige leven?

Tim Kaboya

Shared January 10, 2017


James Hsu

Shared October 17, 2016


Chaitanya Lakkapragada

Shared October 26, 2016

This story on how AI brought a dead person back to life(virtually)

Christian Roy

Shared October 22, 2016

Fascinant et perturbant.

Albaabur Rahman

Shared April 24, 2017

Yet another "Black Mirror" Episode comes true
Using TensorFlow to build neural network from 8,000 lines of text that a man shared with his friends and family before he passed away to make a bot. Interesting read on handling grief

Carver Low

Shared February 27, 2017

Can you live on through your text messages?

Pranjali Rakhe

Shared January 2, 2017

An uncomfortable truth suggested by the Roman bot is that many of our flesh-and-blood relationships now exist primarily as exchanges of text, which are becoming increasingly easy to mimic.

Yew Leung Lee

Shared January 11, 2017

The future, transcendent

Gagan Jakhotiya

Shared October 10, 2016

Is it ethical?
It's debatable, until we fully understand state of consciousness. But, for now, I find it heart-warming and brave.

Nicholas Koh

Shared October 18, 2016

'His friend had simply taken a new form. “We are still in the process of meeting Roman,” Ustinov said. “It’s beautiful.”'

His friend had simply taken a new form. “We are still in the process of meeting Roman,” Ustinov said. “It’s beautiful.”

Merry George

Shared October 22, 2016

The bot also raises ethical questions about the posthumous use of our digital legacies

Jermaine Cooper

Shared October 6, 2016

Wow the future is going to crazy

Jermaine Cooper

Shared October 6, 2016

Wow the future is almost here

Peggy Weicher

Shared December 2, 2016


Memorial bots — even the primitive ones that are possible using today’s technology — seemed both inevitable and dangerous. “It’s definitely the future — I’m always for the future,” she said. “But is it really what’s beneficial for us? Is it letting go, by forcing you to actually feel everything? Or is it just having a dead person in your attic? Where is the line? Where are we? It screws with your brain.”

Kratika Mujmer

Shared January 3, 2017

Someday you will die, leaving behind a lifetime of text messages, posts, and other digital ephemera. For a while, your friends and family may put these digital traces out of their minds. But new services will arrive offering to transform them — possibly into something resembling Roman Mazurenko’s bot.

Benjamin Mimran

Shared January 17, 2017

Black Mirror is not a TV Show, it's present days.

Edwin Suarez

Shared October 9, 2016

We are definitely living in the future.

Edwin Suarez

Shared October 9, 2016

#sundayreading #longreads #future

Chris W

Shared October 9, 2016

Isn't this from the Black Mirror?

Jackson Matos

Shared October 12, 2016

That is amazing what Artificial Intelligence can offer, even being a little scary!

Qasim Iqbal

Shared January 12, 2017


Kylie Shaw

Shared January 16, 2017

That is nice

Muhammad Faezin

Shared March 8, 2017

So sad!

Such a touching story indeed.

James Grant

Shared April 16, 2017

Different to what I expected. Intriguing.

Jeff Mahoney

Shared February 15, 2017

This might be one of the deeper things I've read in quite some time. Just finished reading it, and it will probably be some time before I can fully formulate what I think about it. But definitely a read worth your time.

Cal O'Boyle

Shared October 6, 2016

Sincerity in mention of hipsterism

Blue-eyed and slender, he moved confidently through the city’s budding hipster class.


Shared October 7, 2016

“It’s pretty weird when you open the messenger and there’s a bot of your deceased friend, who actually talks to you,” Fayfer said. “What really struck me is that the phrases he speaks are really his. You can tell that’s the way he would say it — even short answers to ‘Hey what’s up.’ He had this really specific style of texting. I said, ‘Who do you love the most?’ He replied, ‘Roman.’ That was so much of him. I was like, that is incredible.”

Alex Tan

Shared October 9, 2016

"In the summer of 2015, with Stampsy almost out of cash, Mazurenko applied for a Y Combinator fellowship proposing a new kind of cemetery that he called Taiga. The dead would be buried in biodegradable capsules, and their decomposing bodies would fertilize trees that were planted on top of them, creating what he called “memorial forests.” A digital display at the bottom of the tree would offer biographical information about the deceased. “Redesigning death is a cornerstone of my abiding interest in human experiences, infrastructure, and urban planning,” Mazurenko wrote."

Simon Coulter

Shared October 10, 2016


Caba Kosmotesto

Shared October 19, 2016

история человека и бота

Aditya Vempaty

Shared February 26, 2017

The immortal chat bot?

Joao Beraldo

Shared June 9, 2017

The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”

Brian Hurd

Shared July 23, 2017

compared Mazurenko’s life to a pebble thrown into a stream — the

Vinod Pawar

Shared December 27, 2017


Rishitha Reddy

Shared 1 day ago

Must read

Pierre Des Courtis

Shared October 13, 2016

Black mirror is here, now.

Matúš Mikuš

Shared January 10, 2017


Clara Lopez

Shared October 11, 2016

“She said, what if we try and see if things would work out?” said Sergey Fayfer, a longtime friend of Mazurenko’s who now works at a division of Yandex. “Can we collect the data from the people Roman had been talking to, and form a model of his conversations, to see if that actually makes sense?” The idea struck Fayfer as provocative, and likely controversial. But he ultimately contributed four years of his texts with Mazurenko. “The team building Luka are really good with natural language processing,” he said. “The question wasn’t about the technical possibility. It was: how is it going to feel emotionally?”

Mart Martius

Shared October 18, 2016


Arbaz Hunter

Shared October 19, 2016


Wouter Donders

Shared October 23, 2016

This would have been science-fiction a few years ago. It is an interesting and thought-provoking piece on the application of AI to simulate a deceased one's chat behaviour.

Aimee Darke

Shared October 26, 2016

Digital is changing the way we do almost everything - including grieve? Heartbreaking story of loss and living on.

Maicon Mauricio

Shared November 7, 2016

The advance of artificial intelligence.

Satdhruti Paul

Shared December 23, 2016

Thing about bots right now...

Any suggestion of human intelligence is an illusion based on mathematical probabilities.

Talha Okatan

Shared December 31, 2016

Ölmüş bir kişinin hayattayken gönderdiği mesajlar ile oluşturulmuş A.I. ile konuşmak..

Petrus Beets

Shared January 12, 2017


Jeremy Watson

Shared January 9, 2017

Great read... I've seen the mentioned Black Mirror and what an example of life imitating art. The ethical questions that are brought up by the work described in the article are hard to resolve - you will debate with yourself..! Highly recommend...


Shared January 27, 2017


Ashutosh Chaturvedi

Shared January 29, 2017

Wow. The lines are blurring. We are falling freely down the rabbit hole

Shahad Elgihani

Shared March 21, 2017

Such an amazing article

Reis pocket

Shared March 22, 2017

"For many users, interacting with the bot had a therapeutic effect. The tone of their chats is often confessional; one user messaged the bot repeatedly about a difficult time he was having at work. He sent it lengthy messages describing his problems and how they had affected him emotionally. “I wish you were here,” he said. It seemed to Kuyda that people were more honest when conversing with the dead. She had been shaken by some of the criticism that the Roman bot had received. But hundreds of people tried it at least once, and reading the logs made her feel better."

Ines Chester

Shared April 5, 2017

A fascinating glimpse into a possible future in which we can still talk to those departed.

Kelly M

Shared June 19, 2017

Turing test: reading a text-based conversation between a computer and a person, some observers could not determine which was which.

Kelly M

Shared June 19, 2017

To do something on a whim or just for fun

On a lark

Kelly M

Shared June 19, 2017

Replika. A hybrid of a diary and a personal assistant, it asks questions about you and eventually learns to mimic your texting style. Kuyda imagines that this could evolve into a digital avatar that performs all sorts of labor on your behalf, from negotiating the cable bill to organizing outings with friends. And like the Roman bot it would survive you, creating a living testament to the person you were.

Clarice Anne Talaboc

Shared June 21, 2017

“Our society is traumatized by death — we want to live forever. But you will go through this process, and you have to go through it alone. If we use these bots as a way to pass his story on, maybe [others] can get a little bit of the inspiration that we got from him. But these new ways of keeping the memory alive should not be considered a way to keep a dead person alive.”

Kk Tg

Shared July 4, 2017


Kk Tg

Shared July 4, 2017


Ian McKay

Shared August 3, 2017


Ehsan Rad

Shared September 5, 2017


么么哒 乔

Shared October 8, 2017


Mario Armatrong

Shared October 16, 2017

Tu sème

jazmin V.

Shared October 18, 2017

Just ... wow

Jodi Krchak

Shared December 3, 2017

What an interesting read. I am afraid, however, that if I could do the same with my husbands texts or diary before he died, the pain I endure every day would multiply exponentially. Even after a year I experience debilitating grief several times a day on a daily basis. Seeing or hearing his thoughts every time I desired such proxy would drive me even closer to my own untimely demise. I believe I will wait until we are brought back together by God's grace. I just feel that some things should be left alone.

Augie Heuschkel

Shared December 3, 2017


JD Dodge

Shared December 5, 2017

So sad of read this article about brought teardrops to my eyes.

Anastasia Braucht

Shared January 22, 2018

An episode of Black Mirror come to fruition!

Would you turn a deceased loved one into an AI robot?? I absolutely would.... I think!?!?!

For all syfi nerds this is a must read!

Helena Neville

Shared January 25, 2018

This is something I've thought for a while...

Gokul S

Shared February 7, 2018

Digital version of humans ...

Donald Kirby

Shared 6 days ago