Black Mirror Becomes Reality | Mom Reunites with Dead Daughter Via VR
It’s always crazy to imagine what technology could do to our lives. We can all safely say that it has transformed the way we live, work, socialize and even entertain ourselves. Everything has massively changed thanks to different technologies. However, there is also a dark side. This is the premise of the popular Netflix series ‘Black Mirror’. Recently, we saw a Black Mirror episode, ‘Be Right Back’ becoming reality. A mother is reunited with her dead daughter via Virtual Reality in documentary ‘Meeting You’.
How VR reunited a mother with her dead daughter
Three years ago, Jang Ji-sung’s 7-year-old daughter lost her life to hemochromatosis. Now, due to the power of VR, Jang Ji-sung could see her daughter again. Well, to be precise, it was an artificial version of her daughter Nayeon.
Eight months in the making, the production team of MBC utilized the technology of motion capture to track a child actor’s movements. Then they used this data to model their virtual version of Nayeon. Moreover, they reproduced the voice of Ji-sung’s daughter to make it more realistic. The background was a park where Nayeon and her mother used to go to regularly. That’s pretty Black Mirror-esque!
Watch the emotional moments that Jang Ji-sung and her family experienced:
We can see the mother trying to touch and feel her departed daughter but she is unable to do so. Later on, she expresses that she really wanted to do that. In the virtual reality, the mother and daughter did get to touch hands. Moreover, the virtual Nayeon got to make a wish on a birthday cake where she shared:
Please don’t let my dad smoke … please don’t let my mum cry.
The emotional video ends with Jang Ji-sung hearing Nayeon read her letter to her mom:
“Goodbye, mum, I love you”
The mother shares that she did not feel that the virtual Nayeon was totally like her daughter. But she just thought that she saw Nayeon at that particular moment. Moreover, this experience teaches Jang to love her departed daughter more instead of missing her.
Eerily similar to Black Mirror’s ‘Be Right Back’
Starring Domnhall Gleeson and Hayley Atwell, the episode shows how technology could potentially ‘bring back’ your loved ones who passed away. Ash (Domnhall Gleeson) dies in a car accident and her partner Martha (Hayley Atwell) installs an app to help her deal with it. The app recreates dead people using the data the person had on their social media platforms. The AI version of Ash is something that helps Martha to deal with her crippling grief. Martha feels as if she never really lost Ash. Though, slowly the company offers an additional feature that allows Martha to get a droid figure that replicates Ash. Though, things get quite complicated as Martha realizes that nothing could ever replace Ash and that the artificial version of him was just that, an artificial version.
Black Mirror showed how complicated technology could get
There was nothing wrong with Jang reuniting with her daughter or believing that she did in order to get closure. But if such a technology exists and is easily accessible to just anyone, as we saw in Black Mirror, then there are things bound to get out of control. Some people could exploit this technology and turn it into something that is dangerous for our mental health.
This technology would allow people to cling to the past and get dangerously addicted to this piece of software. Some people would be so immersed in the artificial worlds where they get to see their dead loved ones, that they could actually neglect their actual lives.
In the case of ‘Be Right Back’, we saw Martha lying to her family and friends about the droid version of Ash she had. Not just that but she lied to her daughter that she had with the real Ash and made her believe that it was normal for someone this close to them being hidden away in the attic.