When a precious 7 year old girl named Nayeon died, her mother, father and siblings, like all families after catastrophic loss, grieved her death so deeply that words cannot speak the depth of their pain.
This South Korean family, however, engaged in an experiment that dances on an ethical line between reality and virtual reality. The South Korean broadcaster, MBC, features a documentary with Nayeon and her mother, called Meeting You, where they reunite in the virtual world. Nayeon talks to her mother. They laugh together. They even make more memories. And then the session ends.
Utilizing photogrammetry and capturing Nayeon's expressions and voice through videos and stills, this virtual simulacrum of a post-death reencounter is indicative of where technology and humanity intersect, a harbinger or heralding of our future relationships with those we love who died.
While, at first, a person reading this might cringe at the potential harm, is there any potential benefit? I have more questions than answers at this point. I try to leave myself open without judgment. Then, I thought, "Would I do this?" And the answer is that I don't know.
While I contemplate this, I send all my love and compassion to Nayeon and her grieving family. Thank you for allowing me to share this story.