A grieving woman was reunited with her deceased 7-year-old daughter through virtual reality on a Korean television show that stretches the bounds of what is sane and ethical to do with technology.
The Korean TV special called Meeting You aired last week and focused on a family that lost their 7-year-old daughter. In a bizarre and troubling finale to the special, the mother was reunited with her dead daughter through a virtual reality simulation. The mother put on a headset and began conversing with a likeness of her daughter through the device.
“Where have you been, Mum? Did you think about me?” the “daughter” said to her mother through the simulation.
“I do all the time,” the mother replied as she reached out to “hold” the hand of her counterfeit daughter.
The mother said that she agreed to do the program because of her intense grief over the loss of her seven-year-old daughter in 2016. She is still pained immeasurably due to her loss.
“Three years later, I now think I should love her more than I miss her… so that I can be confident when I meet her later,” she said.
The mother enjoyed seeing the virtual reality recreation of her daughter, but appears to have a hard time separating fantasy from reality as a result of the experience.
“Maybe it’s a real paradise. I met Nayeon, who called me with a smile, for a very short time, but it’s a very happy time. I think I’ve had the dream I’ve always wanted,” the mother said following the experience.
The video from the special can be seen here:
While some observers believe this was a touching moment, others are creeped out by the concept and wondering about the dark roads that rapid technological advancement may lead mankind down.
“Were this done behind closed doors, then maybe we could argue the psychological and ethical merits of such an exercise. And now we’ll have to. But putting it on TV, and then the internet, for the world to see? Whatever the long-term moral and ethical questions are that we’re going to have to face, this is extremely f**ked up,” wrote Kotaku reporter Luke Plunkett about the ordeal.
The scenario from the Korean television program is eerily similar to a dystopian fantasy from the Netflix sci-fi show Black Mirror produced in 2013 in which a service was created to provide a counterfeit copy of deceased loved ones to the bereaved.
The human experience is growing more artificial as mankind is empowered by technological advancement to play God. The results to the human race could be catastrophic on an unprecedented level.
Twitter Posts Job Posting for Developing Paid Subscription Service; Will Platform Become Pay-to-Use?
Will it lead to the downfall of the platform?
Shares for Twitter’s stock surged more than 8% on Wednesday as the company posted an online job listing for a developer who would work on a new system designed as a pay-to-use platform.
The job listing advertises the opening for a project team termed “Gryphon.” The company describes the team as creating a “subscription platform” that “can be reused by other teams in the future.”
In a statement to CNN on the job listing, Twitter underplayed the announcement, stating that it was only a job listing, not a product announcement.
“We’re conducting this survey to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck. We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring several ways to make Tweetdeck even more valuable for professionals.”
CEO Jack Dorsey has resisted shareholder demands to reorganize Twitter to prioritize profitability, most recently fending off a buyout attempt staged by oligarch Paul Singer challenging his leadership of the company. Dorsey kept his position of power over the company after reaching an agreement with profit-hungry shareholders, and the new development of paid subscription software could signal he intends to further satisfy them.
The company’s major investors will likely be pleased by any sign the company intends to convert its service into a pay-to-use model, evolving away from the tradition business model of micro-targeted ads towards its user base. However, a change to a subscription model could prove to be a threat to Twitter’s appeal, especially when newer free speech platforms are gunning for the platform’s user base and the company caves to the demands of censorious liberal journalists in suspending a variety of public figures deemed inconvenient to the neoliberal societal model.
Ultimately, the greed and thirst for power of the privileged elites of Silicon Valley could possibly bring about an end to their era of domination over online political speech, heralding a renaissance of the internet.
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