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Sirine Malas, who lives in Berlin, Germany, lost her mother in 2018 to kidney failure at age 82, Sky News reported.

Sirine, who had just given birth to her first child, Ischtar, before her mother’s death, felt unsurmountable grief — and turned to AI four years later to connect with her deceased mom.

Sirine had wanted her mom to meet her daughter, but she never got that chance to introduce them, as she was separated from her mother in 2015 when Sirine fled Syria to go to Germany.

“When you’re weak, you accept anything,” Sirine said. 

“She was a guiding force in my life. She taught me how to love myself,” Sirine said of her mother.

Sirine decided to give Project December — an AI tool that simulates the dead — to help her with her grieving process. 

Users fill out a form with information about the deceased like their age, relationship and a quote. The AI chatbot, powered by OpenAI’s GPT2, then creates a profile based on the information provided about the dead person. 

For $!0 an hour, users can converse with the AI chatbot. The app has more than 3,000 users, most of whom have used it to talk to a lost loved one, according to the app’s founder, Jason Rohrer.

“Most people who use Project December for this purpose have their final conversation with this dead loved one in a simulated way and then move on,” he said.

Sirine said that the experience was “spooky” and strangely realistic. She said the chatbot called her by her nickname, which she entered into the online form, and told her that her mother was watching over her.

“There were moments that I felt were very real. There were also moments where I thought anyone could have answered that this way,” she explained. 

Sirine said she’s a “spiritual person” and felt like the chatbot was a “vehicle” to speak to her mother.

“My mom could drop a few words in telling me that it’s really me or it’s just someone pretending to be me — I would be able to tell. And I think there were moments like that,” she said. 

While Sirine said that the app helped her move on, she warned that some users could get too attached to the app which “could be dangerous.”

“It’s very useful and it’s very revolutionary. I was very careful not to get too caught up with it,” she explained.

“I can see people easily getting addicted to using it, getting disillusioned by it, wanting to believe it to the point where it can go bad,” she added. 

The app’s founder said he hasn’t seen people get “hooked” on the app.

“I mean, there are very few customers who keep coming back and keep the person alive,” he explained. 

British therapist Billie Dunlevy told Sky News that the app could complicate the natural grieving process. 

“The majority of grief therapy is about learning to come to terms with the absence — learning to recognize the new reality or the new normal … so this could interrupt that,” she said. 

 “You get this vulnerability coupled with this potential power to sort of create this ghost version of a lost parent or a lost child or lost friends. And that could be really detrimental to people actually moving on through grief and getting better,” she added. 

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