Is Virtual Reality Helping with People’s Grief or Crossing a Spiritual Line? by James Lasher for Charisma News
Death is an inevitability of life in a sin-cursed world. Limited in its life cycle, the human body will eventually die.
Humanity has attempted to subvert this occurrence throughout the millennia and bypass the grief that comes with losing a loved one.
Now, technology companies are trying to utilize artificial intelligence and virtual reality to simulate and programming an avatar of people’s loved ones who have died.
As reported by “The Washington Post,” a team from South Korea created a documentary about a mother visiting a digital version of her daughter.
Titled, “Meeting You,” the documentary is focused on a mother, Jang Ji-Sun, whose daughter died suddenly from an incurable disease at the age of 7. Her deepest regret, due to the suddenness of her daughter’s death, was that she never got to say goodbye.
In the documentary, the production team re-created her daughter with a digital version that Sun could interact with using a VR headset.
In the VR world, a little girl, Na-yeon, ran to Jang, calling out to her, “Mom!”
Even with the digital limitations of VR, Jang burst into tears and said to the digital image of her daughter, “Mom missed you so much, Na-yeon.”
“I was worried how the mother would react,” said producer Kim Jong-woo. “”No matter how hard we tried to make the character similar, she still can tell the difference. But she said she was happy to see even the slight reflection of Na-yeon.”
This virtual reunion with the dead offers a multitude of questions across a spectrum of topics. Are simulations like this ethical? Will it cause more long-term damage than the short-term benefits offer? Can someone ever get over the death of a loved one if they continue their grief in a digital world?