Dead woman talks to ‘shocked’ mourners at her own funeral — using AI

Just when mourners thought they’d said goodbye to 87-year-old Marina Smith forever, stunned funeral-goers got more than what they bargained for when the sad day rolled around on July 29.

Smith, who died back in June, made a surprise virtual appearance at her own funeral ceremony in Nottingham, UK, thanks to new AI-powered “holographic” video technology, The Telegraph reports.

An AI tool called StoryFile, built by her son Dr. Stephen Smith’s very own firm, enabled funeral attendees to interact in a real conversation with Smith and ask questions they would get answers to.

The beloved mother and grandmother lived a life that consisted of helping others and even set up her own non-profit.

Before her death, Smith recorded hours’ worth of footage of herself talking about her life, and most of the information shared was not known by her mourners.

Her son’s technology used 20 cameras to film her answering questions, and his tool was able to create a digital clone of Smith.

Smith’s hologram appearance “shocked” mourners.
Marina H. Smith Foundation

The technology created the illusion of a real-time conversation with the late Holocaust educator, much to the surprise of those who came to pay their respects.

Smith’s son launched StoryFile in 2017, with the initial aim of sharing powerful stories from Holocaust survivors.

It’s now expanded beyond that, sharing stories of historical figures, and of course, interactive videos at funerals.

StoryFile made its services available to the public earlier this week, which means now everyone has access to create their own interactive experiences using its techlonogy.

The luxury will set you back just $47 — but it’s sure to create a lasting memory loved ones won’t forget.

Smith, who died back in June, made a surprise virtual appearance at her own funeral ceremony in Nottingham, UK.
Smith, who died back in June, made a surprise virtual appearance at her own funeral ceremony in Nottingham, UK.
Marina H. Smith Foundation

Before beginning the process, a topic must be chosen that will be up for discussion during the interactive “holographic” video experience.

These often range from relationships, and past experiences, to childhoods and other unknown facts about the person in question.

The person must then answer a total of 250,000 questions with lengthy two-minute answers which will then be made into a life-like virtual experience in the form of a video.

Unsurprisingly, the hologram “shocked” mourners, according to Smith’s son. What’s more, the questions were answered with “new details and honesty.”

“Mum answered questions from grieving relatives after they had watched her cremation,” he told the outlet.

“People feel emboldened when recording their data. Mourners might get a freer, truer version of their lost loved one.”

Smith and her husband were both known to help others. In 1978, the pair bought an abandoned building which they turned into a Christian conference center that later served as an escape for those who needed it.

By the time 1995 rolled around, the pair converted the building into the National Holocaust Center. To this day, the building remains the only UK museum dedicated to Holocaust education.

Her efforts were recognized by none other than Her Majesty the Queen, who put Smith on her 2005 New Year’s Honors List.

There, Smith was knighted with an MBE for services to Holocaust remembrance and education.

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