Living Memories


Fluid Interfaces

Fluid Interfaces

In collaboration with NTT DATA

Every human culture has developed practices and rituals associated with remembering those who have died. We also keep mementos of the deceased, like portraits, photographs, videos and autobiographies. In our work we explore whether such mementos could become interactive? 

Have you ever wondered what your great grandparents were like, what their values were? Did you get to meet  all of them? Did you wish you could hear their stories or ask them for advice? Would you love to see them break into a smile once again? From science fiction to classic literature, there is a recurring theme of someone talking to a postmortem being, a living memory, or a spirit mentor that supports and interacts with them throughout their story. This character often appears as a ghostly figure or a disembodied voice that provides wisdom or mentoring and serves as the persons moral compass. Examples of this spirit advisor range from the Force spirit of Jedi masters that, beyond their death, continue to watch over their trainees in the space sci-fi epic, Star Wars, to the ghost of Hamlet's father who comes back to visit his son in Hamlet, in the classical work by William Shakespeare. This recurring literary motif demonstrates how a significant person's wisdom can have a long-lasting impact and be a guiding force for later generations.

We define a "Living Memory" as a AI generated interactive system based on a person's stories, attitudes, personality, wisdom, and perspectives. Though a Living Memory is not a direct clone of a person, it enables people to interact with, ask questions, or remember the original person's personality, ideas and wisdom. We explore the design, technical and ethical questions around the concept of a living memory by building prototypes that can be experienced and critiqued.