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What happens online when we die?

What happens online when we die?

Update: 2024-06-09
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Hi, it’s Charley, and this is Untangled, a newsletter and podcast about technology, people, and power.

👇 ICYMI

In the last month:

* I published an essay about how AI might alter loss, grieving, and our ability to move forward. (If you haven’t read it yet, you have until the end of the day before it pops behind a paywall.)

* I interviewed Louis Barclay, the creator of Unfollow Everything — the tool at the center of a new lawsuit against Meta that could change the internet as we know it.

* I published an essay about how we’re molding ourselves to AI in pursuit of disembodied perfection and technological transcendence.

Today, I’m releasing my conversation with Tamara Kneese, author of the great book Death Glitch: How Techno-Solutionism Fails Us in This Life and Beyond.* In our conversation, we discuss:

* What happens online when we die?

* The history of the chatbots-of-the-dead phenomenon.

* How AI-mediated grief might differ from our social media-mediated experience of it.

* The history of Replika and why it illustrates Kneese’s key concern over these tools.

* How developer decisions can impact our grieving process with subtle algorithmic tweaks.

* The digital rights of the dead and privacy, consent, and control issues.

* How this all comes back to data ownership and power. Hint - companies have it, we don’t.

Okay, that’s it for now,

Charley

*Tamara is also my colleague, but, as a friendly reminder, Untangled is a personal project, and does not reflect the institutional positions of Data & Society Research Institute.



Get full access to Untangled with Charley Johnson at untangled.substack.com/subscribe
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What happens online when we die?

What happens online when we die?

Charley Johnson