Intellitar Technology…Friend, Family Member, Foe?

November 2, 2010

Tech News

Ok, so while watching CBS Sunday Morning this past weekend, I saw a news story about a company called Intellitar that makes interactive avatars (www.intellitar.com).  The idea is that people can have conversations with an avatar that looks like a real person.  For those who don’t know what an avatar is, it is a digital picture used to represent a person, usually on the Internet.  (Think James Cameron’s blockbuster hit Avatar.)

Hmmm…why, you might ask, not just connect via webcam and have a chat with the actual person, not their avatar?  Great question.  Intellitar is marketing its new technology as Virtual Eternity, meaning that the avatars are of the dearly departed.  That’s right…dead people.  The technology actually exists to carry on conversations with deceased friends and family members pending they create one of these life-like avatars with Intellitar before passing on.

Does this freak out anyone else?  Sadly, my husband’s father passed away when he was only two and I know he would give anything to hear his voice, but isn’t that what video technology accomplishes?  Watching a home movie helps keep memories of those who have gone before us alive.  The new technology from Intellitar makes it possible to actually have conversations with deceased people.  Granted I doubt if the conversations flow easily, but I expect a prompt such as  “Grandma, tell me about the time…” would generate a pretty cool conversation.  I guess my main question is why do it?  Isn’t part of the experience of losing a loved one about letting go and moving on?  I’m picturing some poor soul sitting for endless hours in front of a computer “talking” to the avatar of a person who is dead and gone.  Anybody else think this is both creepy and unhealthy?

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78 Comments on “Intellitar Technology…Friend, Family Member, Foe?”

  1. LD Says:

    I think it is a cool idea but it is really weird!

    Reply

  2. Riley shuler Says:

    Thats a good idea you need to respect other peoples time on the internet

    Reply

  3. Dunkable Parker Says:

    I am 4 it bcause every 1 should get 2 go to a site when they want 2.

    Reply

  4. DC Says:

    Im against it because If I want to play an online game, then I should be able to over someone who needs research. 🙂

    Reply

  5. Anna Says:

    I am half and half on net neutrality. If a doctor is sending very important information and they are on the same internet access as us they should be able to do that. I don’t think though that different websites would be easier to get to than others.

    Reply

  6. Kathleen Says:

    this is a very interesting perspective that you have

    Reply

  7. Kathleen Says:

    that is a very cool perspective. that site is very weird though. and the guy doesn’t say your name, although it is the first question on the thingy

    Reply

  8. Callie Says:

    I can see more applications for an avatar beyond the genealogy scope. What about cyber-match making sites? What about getting status updates from your friend’s Facebook page without sifting through all the stuff you’re not interested in? Just ask about what you want and if it’s in there, you’ll get the scoop. What about business FAQs? Or tutoring for students? I’ve been reading about this company and it’s my understanding that this first application is it’s initial foray but there’s more on the horizon. It’ll be interesting to watch.

    Reply

    • mscomputerteacher Says:

      Excellent thoughts! Yes, it will be interesting to see how this technology is carried forward. I think it’s interesting that the first use of this technology by Intellitar is the “Virtual Eternity” application when Facebook or match-making applications as you mentioned would be a lot more popular, albeit more complicated to roll out.

      Thanks for joining the discussion and help us keep an eye on this fascinating technology.

      Reply

  9. Tom Says:

    It’s relatively simple idea, but is also just sicking at the same time.

    Reply

  10. richarda Says:

    well i think this website is kinda cool butt really stupid at times

    Reply

  11. steven Says:

    that would make me sad

    Reply

  12. BRADLEY Says:

    POOOOOOOOOP

    Reply

  13. BRADLEY Says:

    I THINK IT IS THE STUPID A INTERACTIVE AVATAR
    REALLY

    Reply

  14. Jordan Says:

    this is creepy and unhealthy and it is unreal

    Reply

  15. deborah Says:

    that is unhealthy and it would make me sad

    Reply

  16. MK Says:

    i think to a lot of people this will mean the world to them when family members are gone, but in a way its really creepy

    Reply

  17. Hope Says:

    That’s interesting. I wonder if this will be a big outbreak in the technology world?

    Reply

  18. Olivia Says:

    I think it is interesting but kind of weird.

    Reply

  19. Savannah Says:

    I think it’s stupid.

    Reply

  20. Aiyana Says:

    I don’t get what the article was about…

    Reply

  21. logan Says:

    i have a race today hehehehehehehehe

    Reply

  22. Hannah Says:

    The idea is kind of creepy but yet really intresting.

    Reply

  23. Jeff Says:

    I think its stupid to try to talk to a dead person from a computer.

    Reply

  24. Marshall "THE ROCK" Wilfong Says:

    Pretty cool website

    Reply

  25. Austin Says:

    Wow, this sounds really cool.

    Reply

  26. Tyler brown Says:

    I like this site very much.

    Reply

  27. Gavin Says:

    imagine, you wake up to the sound of your AI talking to you from the computer screen. (imagine cortana from Halo)

    Reply

  28. Wesley Says:

    I think it is cool

    Reply

  29. AquaWolf-MRR Says:

    Intellitar is very interesting. I think that talking to someone you lost is a bit unhealthy, but it might be nice to hear their voice sometimes. The Intellitar website is very cool, but a bit creepy.

    Reply

  30. Deon Says:

    .the website is cool

    Reply

  31. lildaye Says:

    .the website is creepy .ithink this website is ok that they tlk bcqk bt its scary

    Reply

  32. Nailahhhhh(: Says:

    This is creepy . I dont think its healthy and people would get obssessed with talking to their dead friend.relative, and it isnt even them ! Its still cool, I guess .

    Reply

  33. patrick Says:

    This is great for them to talk to them, but they could have people sitting their, not getting off.

    Reply

  34. Gavin Says:

    i agree with MOST of you, but think of this: eventually, people will take this farther and create AI (Artificial Intelligance) that will help out with every day life.

    Reply

  35. Madeline Says:

    This is interesting but it looks fun.

    Reply

  36. kevin Says:

    this is sweet

    Reply

  37. Ben Says:

    Why would you want to make one

    Reply

  38. Mattherw Says:

    This is really weird. I would thinks it weird to talk to my dead family memeber through a computer.

    Reply

  39. savannah Says:

    well, i would be a little freaked out if i was talking to my dead family member or person. its cool to have an avatar tht talks to you but not the dead part.

    Reply

  40. Cody Haithcock Says:

    This is very inteesting! I would have never have thought of this idea before! I would likt to my past ancestors if this was invented back then!

    Reply

  41. Jessica Says:

    I think its kinda creepy , talking to a dead person , but it’s a good idea to realize how your family members were you never met .

    Reply

  42. Jared Says:

    man this is creepy! I don’t want to talk to dead people! in the Future I’ll bet they’ll make 3D avatars and they will come out the screen. That would be freaky

    Reply

  43. Maggie Says:

    It’s really cool! technology these days! its kinda creepy if you think your talking to the dead!!

    Reply

  44. Jedi queen Says:

    WOW!
    I want one
    Hey who will get one?
    I know I will!!!!

    Reply

  45. harrison Says:

    I wonder if i can have a avatar one day!

    Reply

  46. Tiffany Says:

    This Idea is very Cool and interesting…i would love to talk to my dead folks that would be so cool.

    Reply

  47. kai Says:

    Hmmm…..very…interesting i guess. I get what the company is trying to present. But to me it is weird, very. you have great ideas though and i like how you have taken technology to another level.

    Reply

  48. harrison Says:

    I hope that one day i can i have an avatar

    Reply

  49. Josh Says:

    ello poppets

    Reply

  50. Nia White Says:

    This is very interesting and cool. This must of took along time to do this.

    Reply

  51. Robyn Says:

    Wow, that would be really weird. It would extremely weird to talk to a person that has passed away, but interesting in a way.

    Reply

  52. Kiki Says:

    thats cool i wonder hwo much that technology costs?

    Reply

  53. Megan Says:

    this is a really cool ides! I think that it will help a lot of people out when they lose someone.

    Reply

  54. Kayci Says:

    this isn’t weird at all???????? Jk Jk yea actually this is really weird!

    Reply

  55. Kinsey Says:

    Some people are crazy. If you are sitting on a computer talking to a picture, you have no life. You need to just MOVE ON.
    Thank you.

    Reply

  56. Joe Says:

    This is really cool!!!!!!! I think that this was a smart invention. :):):):)

    =D =D =D =D =D

    Reply

  57. Joe Says:

    This Article is verry interesting I like it alot. I cant wait to use it

    Reply

  58. Lauren Says:

    I never thought about it as talking to the dead. That is a little creepy! i would like to talk to the future generation of my family!

    Reply

  59. Jake "sho-Be-Doobie-Do-Wa-Wow" Hofmann Says:

    Wow that is really cool! I would love to be able to talk to my grandpa once he dies!

    Reply

  60. harrison Says:

    I really want an avatar

    Reply

  61. Aaron Says:

    This gave me great details of it good job

    Reply

  62. Gary Ford Says:

    man this is weird but cool at the sametime

    Reply

  63. Brianna Sheagley Says:

    This program is really interesting! I wonder how long it took to create!

    Reply

  64. aminah Says:

    i think that this new technology would make people get obses talking to other people like they relatives that are dead and that is bad because the people wouldn’t move on and would always want to talk to that person

    Reply

  65. cory Says:

    i think you are very right about not sitting in front of a computer and talking to a person who has passed. my mom always told me god does things for a reason so why mess up what god is trying to do or creat a better person out of you

    Reply

  66. Beth Says:

    this is creepy. i would never do this. it would freak me out. i hate those kind of things that talk to me with the freaky voices.

    Reply

  67. Quiera Gilmore Says:

    It is strange and weird but it seems cool becuase it can respond and etc. id talk to it all the time. LOL.

    Reply

  68. Mac Says:

    I do think this is weird. It is unhealthy and would make me sad

    Reply

  69. Kelsey Says:

    It’s creepy. I would have never thought about that. It is weird because you can like waste your time by talking to your dead uncle or something.

    Reply

  70. hailey Says:

    I think that this is a little weird. None of my relatives have passed yet, so I have no real want to talk to them. I am related to some pretty interesting people though, and I would like to speak to them, but they are long dead. You would need to have to set up everyone with am Intellitar to have this actually be worth something someday. And the people might not even act like the people who have passed.

    Reply

  71. Leah Says:

    I think that this is jsut a litlle creepy they should make up people not use peoples dearly departed that is just wrong. But it i really cool at the e time

    Reply

  72. Kelsey Says:

    Thats interesting.

    Reply

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