A new website creates virtual avatars of the dead so that their loved ones can video chat with them after they are gone.
The website www.eterni.me is a startup by engineers, designers and business people, part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)'s Entrepreneurship Development Programme.
The team claims to have developed a means by which a person can be digitally reconstructed after their death.
The service needs to be provided with a person's chat logs, social-network information, photos, and e-mails, and it uses this information to reconstruct a person's memories and mannerisms.
"Eterni.me collects almost everything that you create during your lifetime, and processes this huge amount of information using complex Artificial Intelligence algorithms," according to the website.
"Then it generates a virtual YOU, an avatar that emulates your personality and can interact with, and offer information and advice to, your family and friends after you pass away.
It's like a Skype chat from the past," it said.
Since going live, the site has received 36,000 page views and 1,300 email registrations in under 24 hours.