21st March: 1.00pm
Malin Starrett: A Digital Hereafter?
We are currently entering new territory with regard to those who have died, particularly through the digital records of their lives on earth.
In the past five years, a list of new issues relating to technology and those who have died have appeared:
These include: ‘Digital tombstones’ memorialising a loved one; difficulties in accessing ‘cloud’ stored digital photographs of a deceased loved one; radio programmes using archive speech recordings to fabricate fictitious conversations between dead celebrities; people choosing to be ‘installed’ in video games for post death interactions with friends and relatives; ‘3D hologram’ tours of musical performers who have died; dead movie stars being ‘reanimated’ for new film roles; AI voice replication where the living or dead can be sampled to convincingly speak new words chosen by another person; and the emerging prospect of AI ‘deepfake’ video enabling anyone, living or dead, to be fictitiously seen and heard – doing anything!.
Whether in the realms of ethics, religion, spirituality or the sphere of legal rights and protections, these recent technical developments call for public discussion. Could technical developments in the physical world be having effects on those who have died? Come along for an introduction to the theme by Malin Starrett, followed by discussion and debate.
Malin Starrett has been involved in studying relationships between spirituality and science and technology since the 1990s, including some of his doctoral research at U.U. 1996 – 2001. During the past 25 years, he has presented around 250 one-off lectures and workshops on themes relating to science and technology, all over Britain and Ireland.