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GriefSPEAK: AI after death. Never really saying goodbye? – Mari Nardolillo Dias

by Dr. Mari Nardolillo Dias, contributing writer on grief and grieving


By: Mari Nardolillo Dias  

Well folks, AI has come to the field of grief! The terms AI (Artificial Intelligence), along with GPT4 and Chat Box have been on everyone’s tongues this week. There have been discussions, both pro and con, but all are in agreement that it will change the world as we know it.  

In a recent article on the Father of Artificial Intelligence, John McCarthy Artificial intelligence (AI) was defined as a computer program that is able to think, understand and make decisions like humans, such as problem-solving, learning, and self-improvement.” According to Das, “Artificial Intelligence is by far one of the most fascinating and astounding creations ever made in the history of mankind. With the advent of its invention, there is still a large domain that is yet to be explored. In fact, its real-world application to date is probably the tip of the iceberg. In the past few years, there has been rapid growth in the domain of AI, making it one of the most lucrative industries.  (TECH4FRESHER, 2021). 

There are AI generated memories, which could allow people to create new memories with a loved one who has passed away. For example, an AI system could take photos and videos of a loved one and use them to create a virtual reality experience that simulates a day spent together. (Grief Specialists).

AI powered grief therapy could be used to provide personalized grief counseling and support. AI systems could analyze a person’s emotional state and provide tailored recommendations for coping with grief. (Grief Specialists).  

There is also Dadbot technology in HereAfter AI.” The platform lets the dead live on as a “Life Story Avatar” that chats on demand, in the recorded voice of the deceased. Surviving loved ones interact with the customized voice avatar via smart speaker, mobile or desktop app, and it responds, through Alexa-like voice recognition technology, with prerecorded stories, memories, jokes, songs and even advice. HereAfter AI is one of a number of startups promising digital immortality through chatbots.  

A recent news report on television showed a woman wearing virtual reality glasses talking to her dead husband. The bot looked like her husband and spoke in his voice. When I asked the members of my widows group about this, they dismissed this “digital immortality”, stating that the problem lies in the content of the conversation. Depending on what the bot was programmed to say, it might provide information, directions or suggestions, perhaps even chastise them. I was surprised to hear their responses as most of them put a great deal of faith in mediums and many have visited mediums regularly. One woman said, “talking to my husband through AI is just plain weird.” Another suggested that it might “alleviate the grieving process all together because their loved ones are never really “gone.” Still another said, “I just want to ask him if he’s okay. What if the bot says no?!” 

I encourage all my readers to think about the concept of AI in death and grieving. What are your thoughts about the possibility of never really “losing a loved one”? Send me your comments, please!


Dr. Mari Nardolillo Dias is a nationally board-certified counselor, holds a Fellow in Thanatology and is certified in both grief counseling and complicated grief. Dias is a Certified death doula, and has a Certificate in Psychological Autopsy.

She is Professor of Clinical Mental Health, Master of Science program, Johnson & Wales University. Dias is the director of GracePointe Grief Center, in North Kingstown, RI.  For more information, go to:


  1. Peter Carpentier on April 27, 2023 at 6:59 pm

    Totally disagree with this concept. I believe in my faith and are in a much better tranquil place. They are at piece and I strongly feel in time we must let go………. I also strongly believe that AI will ultimately destroy true human feelings, love and memories, some good some not so good. Also AI which I do believe will be with us from now on and it will in time also destroy civilization as we know it. It is already manipulating us if we want it to, on our phones, computers, etc. we will end up with a world filled with idiots, NO MORE TRUE COMMUNICATION. I can go on but to tired to keep texting.