Satan often uses sick mind games. His job is to convince you into doing evil, something that would compromise your faith. And the latest among these tricks in his inventory is to convince you that the dead can indeed be brought back (by someone other than Allah).
An article on Washington Post reads:
Last month, news broke that Microsoft received a patent for software that could reincarnate people as a chatbot.
Experiencing tragedy is part of being human. A lot of people have lost loved ones, be it a family member or a friend, and would give anything at a chance to talk to them once more. But is this how Muslims should react to loss? Why is it that this idea by Microsoft sounds so intuitively wrong?
Let us first get an idea of how this is even supposed to work:
This patent envisions a system for taking digital content from a person (“images, voice data, social media posts, electronic messages, written letters,” the patent says) and using machine learning to train a chatbot on replicating how that person would sound.
Are the online activities of a person enough to recreate them? That is to say, does the sum of the ‘digital divisions’ of a human being equal their actual self?
And the answer is simply, no. For starters, the information people share online versus offline are very different. It’s unusual for someone to share their deep secrets on the internet, for example.
But even keeping that problem aside, there is much more to humans that simply can’t be replicated by artificial intelligence and machine learning software.
Atheistic beliefs have led some people to the incorrect notion that there is nothing beyond the material world and that everything can be explained away using material laws.
That’s why they believe that the first-person human experience that we all have, or our consciousness, is simply a result of the experience we have gathered over a lifetime by neurologically responding to information we’ve received through our senses. In other words, we’re no more than machines or computers.
And so, it is these people who also believe that one day technology will have progressed to a point where the human mind will be replicable.
However, they are dead wrong.
Imagine the wonder and amazement when you look at Allah’s creation from the top of a mountain.
Imagine the joy of a family member who has undergone a successful surgery for a dangerous disease.
Imagine the love of a mother when she hugs her child.
Imagine the grief of a child when he loses a parent.
Can these emotions be written off as purely physical in nature? And what about the best human being to ever live?
Remember when the Prophet ﷺ went to check in on the old woman who despised him and threw literal garbage in his path every day?
Remember when the Prophet ﷺ forgave an entire city filled with enemies who had done everything in their power to kill him for years?
Remember Badr, where the Prophet ﷺ put all his trust and faith in Allah and battled the Mushrikin, even with the odds stacked against the Muslims?
Anyone with common sense can see how humans aren’t simply fleshy machines. We have a metaphysical aspect too: The soul.
It is this gift of Allah without which we are nothing but clay. It doesn’t matter how much time science and technology is given. Technologists will never be able to come close to creating anything that can compete with the creation of the Almighty.
Allah says in the Qur’an:
And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference. (17:70)
To even consider that such technology can accurately depict a real human is akin to rejecting this verse. It is to reject the high place Allah Almighty has bestowed upon you. We know very well that death will come for us all one day:
Every soul has to taste death. It is on the Day of Judgement that you shall be paid your rewards in full. So, whoever has been kept away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has really succeeded. The worldly life is nothing but an illusionary enjoyment. (3:185)
Obviously, this technology is in its early days, but it seems that the aim is to keep improving it over time. And the more they improve it, the more deceptive and convincing it becomes. My point is that Muslims need to have their guards up from now.
The period of grief can be pretty overwhelming, but in those times we need to remember to put our trust in Allah instead of into what little this world has to offer.