Dead woman speaks to ‘shocked’ mourners at her own funeral – using AI

Just when mourners thought they had said goodbye forever to Marina Smith, 87, the stunned funeral got more than they bargained for when the sad day arrived on July 29.

Smith, who died in June, made a surprise virtual appearance at her own funeral ceremony in Nottingham, UK, using new AI-powered ‘holographic’ video technology, the Telegraph reported.

An artificial intelligence tool called StoryFile, built by the company of his son, Dr. Stephen Smith, allowed funeral attendees to interact in a real conversation with Smith and ask questions that they would get answered.

The beloved mother and grandmother lived a life of helping others and even starting her own non-profit organization.

Prior to her death, Smith recorded hours of footage of herself speaking about her life, and much of the information shared was not known to her mourners.

His son’s tech used 20 cameras to film his answers to questions, and his tool was able to create a digital clone of Smith.

The appearance of Smith’s hologram “shocked” mourners, according to his son.
Marina H. Smith Foundation

The technology created the illusion of a real-time conversation with the late Holocaust educator, much to the surprise of those who came to pay their respects.

Smith’s son started StoryFile in 2017, with the original goal of sharing powerful stories of Holocaust survivors.

It has now expanded beyond that, sharing stories of historical figures and, of course, interactive videos at funerals.

StoryFile made its services publicly available earlier this week, which means anyone has access to create their own interactive experiences using its technology.

The luxury will set you back $47 – but it’s sure to create a lasting memory your loved ones won’t forget.

Smith, who died in June, made a surprise virtual appearance at her own funeral ceremony in Nottingham, UK.
Smith, who died in June, made a surprise virtual appearance at her own funeral ceremony in Nottingham, UK.
Marina H. Smith Foundation

Before starting the process, choose a topic to be discussed during the interactive “holographic” video experience.

These often range from past relationships and experiences to childhood and other unknown facts about the person in question.

The person must then answer 250,000 questions with two-minute long answers which will then be transformed into a realistic virtual experience in the form of a video.

Unsurprisingly, the hologram “shocked” the mourners, according to Smith’s son. Additionally, the questions were answered with “fresh detail and honesty.”

“Mom fielded questions from grieving relatives after attending her cremation,” he told the outlet.

“People feel emboldened when they register their data. Grieving people might get a freer, truer version of their lost loved one.

Smith and her husband were both known for helping others. In 1978, the couple bought an abandoned building which they turned into a Christian conference center which then served as an escape for those in need.

In 1995, the couple converted the building into a National Holocaust Center. The building remains the only UK museum dedicated to teaching about the Holocaust.

His efforts were recognized by the Queen, who placed Smith on her 2005 New Year’s Honors List.

There, Smith was knighted with an MBE for his services to Holocaust remembrance and education.

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