Voices from “the other side”

Voices from “the other side”

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By Fenix Begravning – a Swedish Funeral Company

New technology will let relatives speak to a digital recreation of their dearly departed.

One of the biggest focus areas and points of conversation here at Fenix is constantly improving the experience for those who have lost a loved one by, among other things, being flexible and personal in our way of helping those that now find themselves in a difficult situation.

With the help of Artificial Intelligence, we at Fenix are working on improving the accessibility of our services by developing a function that communicates in a personal and relevant way to be able to help someone in need of our services when we have no one available, or in the cases where they might not want to or are not capable of contacting us directly.

In Fall 2017 the development of the function took an unexpected turn when it became apparent that very same technology could be used to mimic a specific person’s idiolect, that person’s unique way of expressing themselves. Shortly thereafter ideas started to grow about being able to use the technology to let people communicate with a digital recreation of their dearly departed.

As a part of the development of the function we at Fenix are now looking to work together with a handful of Swedish speaking test subjects who want to contribute to developing the system’s mimicry and help improve our understanding of digital idiolects. This will be done by having the function map and analyze the test subject’s social media, email, chatlogs, & c. allowing the function to communicate like the subject would.

”You could say that we want to create a living memory of the dead that can remind us of all the little things we loved about them” says Charlotte Runius, CEO at Fenix Funerals.

With current technology our function will only be able to work in text, but we have a long-term goal of eventually letting people have verbal conversations with the their dead and will then offer people who want to be remembered that way the opportunity to record themselves before passing so we can collect all the necessary data for an audio recreation. Charlotte Runius continues: ”All too often death comes earlier than we would have hoped, but with this technology we want to give everyone the chance to take a proper farewell or have one final good laugh together.”

”The project’s chief goal is still to assure a higher quality in the delivery and in communication with the next of kin – that we with the help of that same concept and technique can eternalize the memory of our loved ones is just a bonus” says Charlotte Runius in closing.

One of the reasons we are making this reveal now is that we are looking for ten subjects for the test towards the second half of 2018. To assure highest possible quality we need an as broad of a selection of volunteers as possible, so we are hoping to see interest from people all over the country. If you are interested just send a short description of yourself to labs@fenixbegravning.se.

For further questions contact:

Charlotte Runius
CEO FENIX Begravningsbyrå
(+46)708-28 36 38