Affection as a Service: Ghostbots and the Changing Nature of Mourning

Computer Law & Security Review 52 (2024) 105943

9 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2024

Date Written: February 11, 2024


This article elucidates the rise of ghostbots, artificial conversational agents that emulate the deceased, as marketable commodities. The study explains the role of ghostbots in changing how mourning is experienced. It highlights how ghostbots alter the relationship between the bereaved and the departed, transforming it into one of a customer-object within legal discourse. By critically examining the nexus between commodification and the law, this study underscores how ghostbots signify a different and intriguing form of commodification in the interaction between the living and the deceased, within the dynamics of the Digital Afterlife Industry. By furnishing this scrutiny, the article contributes to comprehending the commodification inherent in ghostbots and concludes by delineating specific foundational or seminal points for subsequent academic discussion to aide a more holistic deliberation on the use, commercialisation, or regulation of these systems, and other affection-as-a-service products.

Keywords: Commodification, Chatbots, AI regulation, Digital death, Digital remains, Ghostbots

Suggested Citation

Figueroa, Mauricio, Affection as a Service: Ghostbots and the Changing Nature of Mourning (February 11, 2024). Computer Law & Security Review 52 (2024) 105943, Available at SSRN:

Mauricio Figueroa (Contact Author)

Newcastle University, Law School ( email )

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