Silicon Valley codes a new grieving process

Together with

The Future. Several AI companies are marketing services that hope to make grieving a thing of the past. These AI-powered recreations of loved ones may have the power to provide a psychological cushion for those spiraling from loss, but they could also become a crutch for people looking simply for comfort, not closure. 

Broken heart bot
Grieving the loss of a loved one is hard… so some AI firms are trying to ease the pain, per Vox.

  • “Grief tech” startups like Replika, StoryFile, Seance AI, and HereAfter AI provide services such as the creation of virtual avatars of loved ones or interactive video conversations.
  • These “companions” provide grievers something they can talk to whenever they miss their lost loved one — giving them a gentler way to let go.
  • While some have found these services comforting, others have been hit with unannounced updates that totally break the illusion — a phenomenon that could be retraumatizing..

Grief counselors warn that the rise of grief tech could make people reliant on these tools to cope or, worse, avoid the natural human process of grieving altogether. Could the ambition to optimize grief simply postpone the process, prolonging our psychological need for closure?

Whether or not that’s a good thing may be a deeper question about the role death plays in society.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


No design skills needed! 🪄✨

Canva Pro is the design software that makes design simple, convenient, and reliable. Create what you need in no time! Jam-packed with time-saving tools that make anyone look like a professional designer.

Create amazing content quickly with Canva