A Korean mother used VR to reunite with her passed away daughter

Recently, a South Korean professor uses VR to allow a mother to unite with her passed away daughter, who died from an unidentified disease, and the reunion was filmed into a documentary with a green screen in the back to integrate the reality and virtual for better presentation. the setting created an emotional scene that drew a lot of attention from the internet. People taking sides when talking about ethics in such an application of VR technology.

One side of the discussion was that this application of VR allows people to meet with their passed one is against moral and that if one has passed away, we should let it rest in peace. more concern about this application is the psychological effect on the user who uses the technology, one might build a strong dependent relationship with the technology if they can’t overcome the grief of losing loved ones. The other side sees a new opportunity of relief and forgiveness in this application of VR. Usually, people who can’t overcome the grief of losing loved ones is because they blame themselves for not taking care of their loved ones. This Korean mother has been experiencing self-accusation for the death of her daughter because she thinks it was her fault. Therefore, letting her unite with her daughter in virtual reality will allow her to forgive herself to prevent further psychological diseases like depression.


7 thoughts on “A Korean mother used VR to reunite with her passed away daughter

  1. I think that it is easy to be dismissive of this technology. Without a doubt, this brings a wave of ethical questions to the table. There is the obvious one, of course, that repeatedly using these VR experiences will create emotional issues. It is certainly plausible that a grieving person may use this and develop further trauma or reliance, and stunt the grieving process. Personally, I’d argue that this isn’t remotely the most impactful application of this technology. If you can create VR experiences with real people, or the deceased, what’s to say that fictional or imaginary people cannot be created in the same way? Imagine if in the future, people using immersive VR to build relationships with AI semblances of celebrities, or fictitious people, designed to simulate real-life interactions. Wouldn’t people become addicted or dependent on this just as much? We should be just as concerned about this.

    In some ways, social media is already fostering a similar addictivity. While most of us would definitely note the negatives of social media, I don’t think anyone would be quick to say it is necessarily unethical, or should be banned. So why are we so dismissive of something similar? Personally, I think we should consider and use VR technology like this carefully, as we do with social media. If we are able to construct healthier and more ethical ways to approach technology, I think it would be unwise to discredit VR’s value.

  2. I think it has a good side and it has a bad side. According to the post, the VR allows people to see their lost ones, but on the other hand, people might get lost and stuck in this technology and can’t live their real lives. I think it depends on people’s mentality, some are weak and some are strong. We really can’t determine who can take the pain and who can not. Therefore, I don’t think this technology should be widely used unless the people can be tested about their mentality to see if they can take over the pain of seeing the lost ones. In my opinion, I don’t want to do this because it sounds creepy to me. Because I know people do die, there is no way to bring a life back. Therefore, even if people around me die, I won’t try this tech to see them, I would miss them but through my mind or their stuff or things happened between me and them. So I don’t recommend this technology to be widespread, because I think there is a lot of people hoping they can see their passed away ones and many of them would have big chances to get lost.

  3. While I have mixed opinions on this topic, I mostly lean towards the stance that creating A.I of loved ones who have passed away is not a good idea. After reading this news story, I was immediately reminded of an episode of Black Mirror where a young woman named Martha and her husband were tragically separated by death after the husband, Ash, dies in a car accident. In her grieving, Martha uses a service that allows her to talk to Ash on the phone. This service is able to form an accurate artificial intelligence and a nearly perfect replication of the deceased by collecting the person’s entire history of online communication and using it to reform the person’s mind in the “cloud”. Once Martha begins using this service she is apprehensive about it initially, but quickly becomes “addicted” to it when she realizes that this technology speaks exactly like Ash would and possesses his memories as well. Martha eventually goes as far as purchasing an extremely lifelike human robot that takes the shape of Ash in order to replace him, but none of these things appear to be helping her grieving in the long run.

    After seeing this episode of Black Mirror, I am left believing that this sort of technology is dangerous and harmful to people who are mourning the loss of a loved one. While it may be helpful for some people in their grief, I feel that people who are grieving are already very emotionally susceptible and that this technology could do more harm than good. I feel that recovering from grief in the “traditional” way is the way to go in this regard. Things someone might see in virtual reality are not real, and they will be reminded again of their loss as soon as they exit the VR. While this could lead to even further grieving, I think it could also lead to the development of mental illnesses such as addiction and severe depression.


  4. This article and the video on it was heartbreaking. As I watched the video it made me tear up for sure. However, I agree that this could lead to psychological diseases. Losing a significant one is already traumatizing as it is. Allowing VR to become relief to people could start addiction or false hallucinations. In the article attached too my comment, it mentions about the possibility of hackers getting into sessions. If a hacker were to get into a session, it could allow them to take control of the avatar that represents the missing loved one. The avatar could be used to say hurtful, mean things which could make the experience and aftermath more traumatizing.
    Virtual reality is still a new concept that will have many bugs and malfunctions. In my opinion, doing this experience would hurt me down the road.


  5. This concept raises many questions, mostly those surrounding the ethics of the situation. This virtual reality technology has a lot of great potential, but as with all scientific breakthroughs, it has to come with regulations. This is an unprecedented situation, so there is no telling what the long-term effects of this concept could be. If this technology was made available to the public, it could have negative effects on mental health for those who choose to use it. It could cause users to lose touch with reality and make it much more difficult to process their grief. I personally believe that while this concept was created with the right intentions, it is too dangerous to release to the public. When it comes to the evolution of science and technology, ethics must always be applied to ensure the well-being of humans is a top priority. In this case, the bad outweighs the good, therefore making it unusable in my opinion.


  6. I was stunned after reading this. To see that VR allows you to see loved ones that have passed, I was truly amazed. With that being said, I am not a fan of VR being used for this purpose. I believe when a loved one passes, the best thing to do is let go. Obviously, it takes time to let go, however this is not the solution. By using VR for this purpose, users will become dependent on it and will never move on from loved ones that have passed. I understand in this story, the mother was heartbroken and hurting. After watching the video, I saw the joy VR brought to the mother after seeing her daughter. However, she will eventually become reliant on VR to see her daughter. Her depression will get worse when she is not seeing her. Worst of all, she will never truly get over her lost daughter. I don’t think this type of VR should ever be used.


  7. Although I think that VR has so many amazing possibilities for making people’s lives better, this is not one of them. To me this just seems kind of creepy. I suppose I might think differently if I were the mother but as an outsider a lot of this is just weird in so many ways. Someone had to make a 3D model of this girl and add animations and everything, and ethically to me that doesn’t seem right. The 3D model is also very clearly computer made, it has that “uncanny valley” effect where you can tell that it just doesn’t look exactly like a person. Maybe if the model were absolutely perfect this wouldn’t seem as weird (or maybe it would be even weirder).

    I suppose there are some positive aspects to this though. If the mother was absolutely heartbroken, which I’m sure she was, this could have helped her through the grieving process, and possibly even given her closure. People can already “visit” each other long distance with VR so I suppose this isn’t too far off from that.

    Something that my mind goes to when I see this is a business doing something like this as a service. I can imagine a company that makes 3D models of people that maybe are deceased or living far away and put them into a program where someone can interact with them in VR. That I can definitely imagine becoming an ethical issue. For now though, I’m not sure what to think of this kind of thing, but my initial reaction was that it was creepy and not something I would ever want to do.

    Source: https://kotaku.com/mother-reunited-with-deceased-daughter-in-vr-show-1841561725

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