Would you like to chat with someone who is dead? I know, it´s a silly question. Of course you can´t chat with dead people. However, right now a company in the funeral business in Stockholm is trying to develop a robot who can replace your loved husband or wife after they are gone. The robot will have access to the expressions used by that person and copy the way that person talked.

Obviously, you could ask that robot simple questions like: do you want your coffee black, dear? But you could not ask the robot about the new film you saw yesterday.

I wrote an article about the “bot of the death”. The lady at the company now trying to find research subjects in order to develop the robot was a nice and intelligent person. She said that a robot might be a comfort to some people mourning their loved ones. On the other hand, a priest I talked to pointed out that having access to a robot might make grieving longer and more difficult. It is better to mourn together with other persons, to remember together, and to develop relations with human beings, said the priest.

I agree with the priest. But I am not that scared of these kinds of new technologies. Like the priest said: it is silly, in a way – you try to tell yourself that the robot is a human being, you talk to it, and yet you know that it´s not real.

What is scaring, though, is the thought that a robot like this might be hacked…. That, my friends, would be worse than science fiction. It would be a night mare.