This article explores the rise of generative AI, particularly ChatGPT, and the combination of large language models (LLM) with robotics, exemplified by Ameca the Robot. It addresses the need to study the ethical considerations and potential implications of digital necromancy, which involves using AI to reanimate deceased individuals for various purposes. Reasons for desiring to engage with a disembodied or bodied replica of a person include the preservation of memories, emotional closure, cultural heritage and historical preservation, interacting with idols or influential figures, educational and research purposes, and creative expression and artistic endeavors. As such, this article examines historical examples of the practice in hologram concerts, CGI characters, and others in order to analyze the ethical concerns related to privacy, consent, and commercial gain. It delves into the challenges of accurately representing individual personalities, misrepresenting cultural context, and the limitations of available data. Furthermore, it explores the Pet Cemetery conundrum and its impact on the grieving process, mental health, and the moral implications of using AI to generate interactions with the deceased. By contemplating future use cases like interactive virtual assistants and realistic historical reenactments, the article highlights the importance of addressing ethical implications as these technologies continue to advance and contributes to the discourse on the responsible and ethical use of generative AI, LLM, and robotics in the context of digital resurrection, calling for ongoing discussions and considerations of AI rights, social dynamics, and the grieving process.
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Hutson, James and Ratican, Jay, "Life, death, and AI: Exploring digital necromancy in popular culture—Ethical considerations, technological limitations, and the pet cemetery conundrum" (2023). Faculty Scholarship. 478.