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Dying man uses AI program so family can engage with him 'forever'

Bommer fed his voice, personality, speech patterns, knowledge and memories into a first-of-its kind AI program so that his family can always have the feeling of him being around them.
Last Updated : 08 July 2024, 09:50 IST

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Michael Bommer (61), a software designer from Berlin, Germany, was diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago, and is now left with just weeks to live.

Bommer fed his voice, personality, speech patterns, knowledge and memories into a first of its kind AI program so that his family can always have the feeling of him being around them.

According to a report by New York Post, Bommer said, "It’s giving me the opportunity to leave my memories in the vault."

Bommer said that the sole reason he agreed to do all this was because he will miss telling his loved ones about life, history and society.

He's eager as the program will help in easing his family's pain of losing him and will also provide them with advice in his own voice when they would need it the most.

He told the report of the publication, "I’m now very sad that I cannot go on to be the explanation-bearer for the family — to be the one where children and grandchildren, come to me and say, ‘Hey, explain the world to me'."

"It gives me, so to speak, this kind of closure."

An old friend and colleague of Bommer - Robert LoCascio - is the founder of AI service LivePerson and had spent almost a year to develop Eternos.life.

Eternos.life is an AI program allowing people to interact with a digital replica of their loved ones using their voice and words.

Practically identical to ChatGPT, the responses are received in both text and speech, helping those who are grieving the loss of their loved one by providing comfort and move on.

According to New York Post, Bommer said, "I’m not the memoir guy. I’m not the guy who writes a memoir. I’m the technology guy, I love technology, I’ve seen what that technology can do in the past, and I’m totally delighted about this opportunity.”

Bommer also told that Eternos.life is a safe program which can be accessed only by the approved loved ones, friends or family members of the deceased.

Robert told the publication that they had to construct two things - one was how to capture everything about a person from that person and second was to find a quick way for doing the first part before Bommer breathes his last.

According to New York Post, Robert also said that the most important part of the program was to get about 300 vocal training phrases which would make Bommer an 'AI'.

Robert explained that the program would work in three parts:

1 - Talking about Bommer's life

2 - Allowing Bommer's virtual self to interact

3 - Bommer's imaginative mode to deal with instant interactions with his family

According to the publication's report, Robert said, "No one has participated in such a sophisticated program to the extent Bommer has. Eventually, we’re going to move on to him as a video, like really as a person."

Bommer's family has been testing the program and are totally delighted.

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Published 08 July 2024, 09:50 IST

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