When the Digital Continues After Death Ethical Perspectives on Death Tech and the Digital Afterlife.

Communicatio Socialis 56 (3):427-436 (2023)
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Nothing seems as certain as death. However, what if life continues digitally after death? Companies and initiatives such as Amazon, Storyfile, Here After AI, Forever Identity and LifeNaut are dedicated to precisely this objective: using avatars, records, and other digital content of the deceased, they strive to enable a digital continuation of life. The deceased live on digitally, and at times, these can even appear very much alive-perhaps too alive? This article explores the ethical implications of these technologies, commonly known as Death Tech. With the advancement of artificial intelligence, Death Tech will inevitably transform mourning practices, our perception of death, and how we cope with its reality in the coming years. In this article, it is demonstrated that Death Tech can contribute to individual grief support, education, and a vibrant culture of remembrance. However, it is crucial to recognise that the Digital Afterlife is not a paradise but necessitates active designing and ethical deliberation.

Author's Profile

Anna Puzio
University of Twente


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