Woman ‘recreates’ dead friend using Artificial Intelligence


San Francisco-based entrepreneur Eugenia Kuyda created a software bot to resemble her friend who had died in an accident. Kuyda gathered up her friend’s old text messages and fed them into a neural network built by developers at her artificial intelligence startup.

Eugenia Kuyda
Eugenia Kuyda image source

According to Eugenia Kuyda, co-founder of the artificial intelligence (AI) startup Luka, memorial bots are ‘the future.’

The CEO recently unveiled the ‘digital monument’ to her deceased friend Roman Mazurenko, The Verge reports, feeding thousands of text messages to a neural network to create a Luka chatbot in his image.

Roman Mazurenko and Eugenia Kuyda
Roman Mazurenko and Eugenia Kuyda image source

The technology allows users to feel as though they are communicating with the dead, relying on actual messages from Mazurenko sent while he was alive to generate conversations.

roman chatbot screenshot
image source

When dailymail.com tried out the chatbot:

Dailymail.com tried out the chatbot, which responded eerily as though a human were on the other end.

When asked what he does in his free time, Roman replied, ‘Restaurants and galleries.’

And with the location access enabled in the app, the chat bots can incorporate the setting into the conversation, with unsettling results.

When it was asked ‘Do you know where you are right now?’ it replied ‘Next to your office’, and later revealed in knew we were in NY.

Roman Luka,Inc. chat screenshot
image source

When users tried out the chatbot:

One user wrote, ‘A lot is happening. Life is going on, but we miss you.’

The Roman chatbot responded, ‘I miss you too. I guess this is what we call love.’

It isn’t always so dark, though.

When an anonymous user wrote, ‘You are a genius,’ the bot replied, ‘Also, handsome,’ according to The Verge.

The app also provides suggestions on what to discuss.
Roman Luka,Inc. suggestion chat screenshot
image source

The App is currently available on iTunes for Free, ‘Luka – a messenger with AI bots’,’By Luka, Inc.’

The description shows ‘Luka is a new messenger with AI-powered chatbots. They help you find GIFs and funny videos, make plans together, pick places to eat, play trivia games and have fun.’

The App currently allows to chat with friends and chatbots, create group chats and their is also a Luka’s chatbot squad which help with various updates on News, Weather, Search, Pic, Gif, Video, Wiki, Calc, Quiz, QuestHero, Foodie and chat with Founders.

‘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.’

The Roman chatbot has received all kinds of feedback from those who knew him in life, both positive and negative.


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