Digital claims to make this dream come true thanks to 3D animated digital avatars with the effigy of the deceased, possibly inserted in an immersive virtual reality to enhance their perception. The “conversational agents” are not satisfied with imitating the voice of the deceased but are now able, thanks to artificial intelligence systems that analyze the data left by the deceased, to “create” discussions, attitudes, appearances of “new” emotions and behaviors .
**Fanny Georges*”***Today, most people have digital social network accounts that have been capitalizing on a lot of information for years. What we found is that, after the users’ death, these forms of person representation continue to represent people after their death, and users will produce comments, announce the death, and express memories on its pages.”
These innovations lead us to the heart of the promises of the digital, namely its ability to create on the one hand and, on the other, its claim to overcome death. But by addressing these issues, the digital also faces its limits: the speaking body and life. Its Promethean promise could have the opposite effect by revealing the element of illusion on which the entire digital project is based.
Judith Rochfeld “We have these immersive universes or these avatars of dead people that can be created, recreated, because it’s not pretending to be an imitation, it’s pretending to be a continuation with new discussions and with interpretations of what the person might be doing.”
How does the law learn about the virtual survival of deceased people? Should it grant protection to fragments of personality or even recognize, as some recommend, a “compassionate residual personality”?
spirit of justice I will try to build this debate in the company of Fanny Georgesemiologist, professor of information and communication sciences at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University, specializing in digital identities, avatars and self-representation, author of numerous articles related in particular to post-mortem digital identity, and Judith Rochfeldprofessor of law at the Sorbonne Law School, Paris-1 University, Sorbonne Legal Research Institute, author of numerous books and in particular of an article entitled: ” The avatars of eternity. Towards new compassionate residues? » appeared in a book of blends in honor of Professor Catherine Labrusse.
Fanny George “The principle of these digital avatars is that from the data entered during the life of the users, the algorithm will interpret this data and simulate a behavior corresponding to that of the presumed living person.”
Judith Rochfeld “Lawyers really need to take this topic into their own hands because in fact, for the moment, we are not faced with a total vacuum, but with a lack of answers. We have to build them because the GDPR, the famous General Data Protection Regulation , since it is a construction that is based on the personal data of the living for after their death, the regime, the juridical norms, the data of the deceased are incomplete on this point.
Personal page of Fanny Georges. (articles, books, etc.).
- To watcha video about
Digital eternitiesstarted by Fanny Georges (
- To readan article written by Fanny George,
Digital eternities appeared in
Hermes magazine published by CNRS editions (2020), and extracted from a book edited by Valérie Robin Azevedo,
[Im]materiality of deathin the collection
Hermès essentials, in 2020*.*
- Pages by Judith Rochfeld : on the website of
the university law portal (publications, news…), the Hon
- Presentation page of the latest book by Judith Rochfeld,
The main concepts of private lawpublished in December 2022 by PUF editions
- Presentation page of
Fanny George “From the point of view of semiology, we will consider that a 3D space, as soon as it allows a spatial experience, will cause an experience completely similar to reality in the mind, in the interpretation of the subject. […] And these digital immortality projects, because they are digital immortality, they propose devices that present these forms of digital immortality as a concrete reality.
Judith Rochfeld “French law has a very interesting particularity, in Europe, since it has organized a form of “digital succession”. In this case we speak of extension of the personality or of wishes for extension of the personality. And French law is one of the few laws for attempting to do so.”
The best of all worlds
The New Waves
Fanny George “We have been able to observe, on digital social networks, that people often discover information about their loved one, if only through the public comments that are left on digital social networks, and therefore discover an often unsuspected facet of the person in the course of his or her life. if only for the discovery that he frequented certain social circles or certain sites…”
Judith Rochfeld “Beyond the human person, which obviously has its specificity, we have a function of the legal person that goes beyond the human person. So the law knows how to do it! Does it want it for people who have no body? For the moment being, the reflection that I see or foresee is precisely that of going towards pieces of personality out of respect for the living.