Grieving dad uses AI to keep daughter 'alive in digital world', Latest Music News - The New Paper

Grieving dad uses AI to keep daughter 'alive in digital world'

"No parent should have to bury their child," said Théoden, King of Rohan, in The Two Towers.

But life at times does not follow the natural order of things.

Taiwanese musician Tino Bao and his wife Lo Mei-yi lost their only child Bao Rong in 2021. The 22-year-old died from a rare blood disease after a couple of years of treatment.

Bao told South China Morning Post that he and his wife hardly exchanged words between them for about half-a-year following their daughter's death, lest they said something that would touch a raw nerve.

But now they have something that might help them cope with their feelings of longing for their daughter.

The 56-year-old musician used AI to recreate an image of his late daughter singing a birthday song for her mother.

With the help of a team, Bao trained a program to recreate his daughter's voice using snippets from a video call conversation between her and his wife.

Recreating his daughter's voice was momentous for him as she could not speak towards the end of her life because of her treatment.

The “digital daughter” became a bridge for the couple to reconnect and start afresh.

“AI is a tool we have used to express our love for her,” said Bao, adding that the AI-generated image and voice of their daughter have helped them reconnect.

Bao was concerned that the virtual version of his daughter would ruin memories of her but he went ahead anyway to “keep her alive in the digital world”.