Mother Reunited With Deceased Daughter In VR Show

Last week, a Korean TV special called Meeting You aired which focused on a family’s loss of their seven year-old daughter. And in an unsettling finale, the program attempted to reunite the girl with her mother using a virtual reality recreation, complete with audio.

You can see it below. Not only was the girl fully replicated in 3D, able to move around and interact, but the mother was given touch-sensitive gloves to accompany her VR headset, and she was able to walk around a limited greenscreen set.

Within the confines of this moment, these fleeting few minutes, I have no idea if this was an ultimately positive experience for this mother, and so don’t want to speak for her personal feelings or try to imagine what she felt interacting like this. Being able to see her daughter one last time might help her in her grieving process. Having some code pretend to be a living thing that she loved might only add to the trauma. Only time, and research, will tell.

This is one of those things that I thought we had another 5-10 years to get ready for, maybe form some kind of means of reacting or responding to. The uncanny valley is something we still struggle with when it comes simply to entertainment, we’re definitely not equipped to be tackling the same issues with loved ones.

Were this something that could have been done behind closed doors then maybe we could (and now will have to) argue the psychological and ethical merits of such an exercise. 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 fucked up.


Comments

    It was only a matter of time. We already have Twitter services that can emulate your style of Tweets (one service is similarly for Tweeting from beyond the grave) and AI can identify plenty of mannerisms and quirks about people so creating a simplistic, believable model of a person isn't that farfetched. Completely replicating a person though is probably still a way away.

    As for using it like this, I can see how it might help those that can't move on psychologically but it could also quickly become a crutch and prevent people from accepting the reality.

      I could see it being used well by psychiatrists but I would definitely only trust someone with a lot of training to implement and watch over it.

      Black Mirror is calling. They had an episode that was basically this to the next level.

    Reminds me of a similar moment with Tim Heidecker and his former wife Ayaka.

    R.I.P. Tom Cruise Jr.

    The Mirror of Erised has become a VR experience.. The heartbreak would be felt again every time you unplugged the VR headset.

    Losing a child would be an unimaginably horrific experience from which you could possibly never recover. I just don't know how to feel about 'seeing' them again in VR.

    Geez, that was incredibly hard to watch, especially while sitting on the couch with my little fella while he watches his shows.

    It feels morbid because it’s something I don’t ever want to think about but Jesus Christ, I know where that love comes from.

    I couldn't imagine doing this, just watching it brought a tear to my eye. I couldn't help but see my son running around from those blocks of wood. Hearing his voice in my head so vividly asking me his normal questions about what I'm doing.

    This is a tough watch.

    When i first saw this post I started a comment asking for it to be deleted.

    However watching the video and thinking on the situation i have mixed emotions.

    One this is definitely predatory click bait car crash Tv at its best and such a private moment shouldn't be shared with the world (or exploited).

    That and thoughts of the grieving process and that as per the above comment this would only prolong the grief of the parent and such a method of bringing back a loved one via VR seems like the ultimate tease, meeting a loved one but then ripping it away from someones grasp.

    However if you think of it from the parents perspective if you had an offer to meet your child again even in VR i don't think any parent would knock back that offer (even under the condition that the whole ordeal would be filmed)

    The whole post and situation gives me a sick morbid feeling, thanks for sharing it i guess..

    That's catastrophic to mental health, but good for profit

      Yeah, I mean, I can understand *why* people would think it good for mental health, in getting over loved ones death... but would it honestly be? Wouldn't you possibly become addicted to 'seeing' the person over and over and over for that 'one last time'?

      I just can't see it being anything but a continuous gutpunch, knowing that times going to come to an end over and over, but with the ability to go back and 'turn the switch back on' to see them again...

      Yet it never is them :\

    "I would give anything for one last chance to say....."
    I feel like a clinical psychiatrist with a lot of training could do good with this.

    to a parent dealing with grief it must be teribly temping it try this.
    Probably easy to suspend ones disbelief if it means you can see your......oh man this video is just too sad..i'm cying at work and dont give a fuck.

    This seems like a ghoulish way to encourage a person to fetishise their pain and use it for profit.

    So, business as usual, I guess.

    I'm watching this and getting a very Altered Carbon, Black Mirror vibe. Sure it has it's uses. But I can also see how it can be exploited and impede some people's recovery from a tragic loss.

    Not to mention mixing this up with deep fakes is just another level entirely.

    Fuck no. Fuuuuuuuuuuck no.
    It's hard enough reading the words, hearing the voices, seeing the videos of the beloved lost.

    Interacting with them seems like it would only serve to highlight the gulf between reality and wishes/memories. Unreal and out of reach.

    "For all the judgmental people who haven't even watched this whole documentary and commenting this tv show is exploiting the grieving mother's feelings, the mother wanted to do this because she wanted closure. She lost her child so suddenly and felt like she hadn't had a chance to say a proper goodbye. Because of this she placed her daughter's photos everywhere and was almost in a state of obsession for three years. Hearing this mother's story, the documentary team and the family discussed and prepared for this experience for months and they specifically did this so that the mother can say a proper goodbye and move on. The mother commented later that she felt good after doing this and it's not like she will be obsessed with an NPC character and relive the moments with her daughter over and over. The whole point was that this will be a one-last-time goodbye. So there's no need to trash the team's efforts and leave hateful comments especially if you don't know the whole story."

    where was this in the article

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