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Tombstone Turing Test

Simulate the dead
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
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Tombstones sometimes have photos of the deceased when alive. Then there are programs like Eliza and Parry. In the late 'seventies, Dr Chris Evans once wrote a program for the Pet which simulated Tony Benn. Therefore it is possible to simulate people somewhat convincingly using hardware which is fairly basic by today's standards.

I know i have a tendency to behave in a formulaic manner. For instance, if someone tells me they had a dream last night, i find it difficult to restrain myself from saying "Was it like the one Martin Luther King had?" and other such inanities. It would be quite easy for me to be replaced by a computer program, to the extent that no-one would ever know. For all you lot know, it could be a computer program making up this idea and submitting it to the halfbakery right now. If the task is to simulate me, the program would pass the Turing Test.

Anyway, i propose that tombstones incorporate a durable solar powered computer consisting of a proximity-sensitive TFT display, speaker and microphone, as well as an on-screen keyboard, running a single program whose sole purpose is to simulate the dead person as they were in life. The screen displays their likeness with their mannerisms, tones of voice, turns of phrase, distinctive gestures, fashion sense and the like, programmed to respond to people just as the living person did.

If they'd been in a long term dysfunctional relationship when they died, and let's face it we all will be unless we die alone, it would be particularly easy to simulate them as they were at that point, like the .exe-partners thing.

nineteenthly, Apr 24 2008

this one just says *Expired* http://s111.photobu...rrent=headstone.jpg
[xandram, Apr 24 2008]

For [DrCurry] http://www.halfbakery.com/user/Ozymandias
An appropriate profile page methinks... [theleopard, Apr 30 2008]


       "Yes, dear"
"Is that right?"
phoenix, Apr 24 2008

       // a program for the Pet which simulated Tony Benn //   

       Yes, but all he needed to do was produce a bit of code that mindlessly gabbled Stalinist dogma (doubleplusgood duckspeaking). Since Wedgie Benn manifestly fails the Turing test (it is immediately possible to determine that one is not in communication with any form of intelligence), this is a poor choice of example.   

       Something similar to this was proposed in the film "Serenity".
8th of 7, Apr 24 2008

       I didn't get to the end of Serenity, but that's motivated me to do so.   

       The Benn thing was what Evans actually did. He mentions it in 'The Mighty Micro'. I don't doubt that i am as easy to simulate.
nineteenthly, Apr 24 2008

       sp. Trotskyist?
pertinax, Apr 25 2008

       No, i'd say he was Eurocommunist.
nineteenthly, Apr 25 2008

       I would like this when I'm gone. Only problem is so would my wife. Can you imagine the two simulations interacting in perpituity as they did in life? The noise polution of the constant arguing in the normaly quiet graveyard would be unbareable.
Albi Fuctifano, Apr 25 2008

       //"Was it like the one Martin Luther King had?"//   

       My personal inanity:   

       Q: What time is it?
A: Time you got a watch pal.

       Every. Single. Time.
theleopard, Apr 25 2008

       [Albi Fuctifano], just imagine a family crypt.
nineteenthly, Apr 25 2008

       What? I don't understand! Where's the tea?
m_Al_com, Apr 27 2008

       Welcome to the bakery, Signor [Fuct]; sp. unbearable.
pertinax, Apr 27 2008

       //sp. unbearable.//   

       or sp. should.
FlyingToaster, Apr 27 2008

       frederick pohl's "heechee saga" series of novels had something very similar. (excellent series)
copycat042, Apr 29 2008

       I read one story where the protagonist programs the AI supposed to replicate him to instead help him commit suicide when his Alzheimers gets too severe.
DrCurry, Apr 29 2008

       I think people use the grave marker as a last little grasp at immortality. I have wandered through grave yards looking for long lost relatives and came to the conclusion, the older markers were pretty much useless...really relegated to the realm of "graves of the unknown"...they are nothing but stones with a name on them and date of birth and death...and totally meaningless for else. No one really knows these ex-people or what they stood for or what they did in life...unless, they had achieved their immortality in life...like famous people...some charachters of history have no known graves or markers like Jesus or Ghengis Khan or even Adolph Hitler...or the Romanovs....yet, they have attained a kind of immortal mass memory via their exploits in life....even though perhaps not well deserved.   

       So, I thought, this idea is a good one. It would lend a splendid way for the vast numbers of "little People" who perhaps did even greater, but sadly unrecognized things in their lives, to give a bit of themselves to much later generations....even if we have to go to their grave markers to learn of their lives. It would most certainly get more people out to visit the grave yards...and might even be a very interesting contemplative venture.   

       The problem, of course, is designing a permanent device that could relay the information over the ages. Even granite stones eventually succumb to the ravages of weather and time. Perhaps something that is energized by the sun...and that is encased permanely in cast glass...and that is basically not worth stealing would be a start.   

       I think if such a device could be offered at a reasonable price, it would have a viable market. And it almost certainly would benefit society.
Blisterbob, Apr 29 2008

       "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

       That reach for immortality is an ancient thing.
DrCurry, Apr 29 2008

       Thinking on it, I fear it will get easier to simulate me as my hearing goes.   


       [Blisterbob], I disagree with your first paragraph, although I do understand where you're coming from. (One of my hobbies is cemetery transcription. I look for graves without stories - they're mysteries waiting to be solved.)
lurch, Apr 30 2008

       I am very saddened by grave markers because the people they represent are so anonymous...I found a grave site once while hiking...it had a pair of stones that were scratched with the names ..a woman and two children...I could hardly make out the dates..but one for sure was 1876...and it was the second date, so it was probably the date of death. I stood there for a very long time wondering about the people there and how they came to be buried in such a remote place in the wilderness. I trimmed the weeds and cleaned the place up a bit, out of respect. I shouldn't have. I came back a few years later and the crude grave markers were gone.
Blisterbob, Apr 30 2008

       The Ozymandias link is true not only to the spirit of this ida, but to the poem itself.   

       Nothing beside remains: round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.   

       That is, Ozzy is 404.
land, Apr 30 2008

       That Ozymandias page is astonishing. Was it done as a joke? I don't remember anyone called that.   

       Clearly, it isn't a joke. It really was active at some point. Does anyone remember them?
nineteenthly, Apr 30 2008


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