Sep 16 • 5M

New and ancient technologies to speak to dead people: AI & the "Inca Stargate", Chakana.


Appears in this episode

Loic Le Meur
After launching startups and conferences all his life Loic spent a year in the Amazon forest with indigenous and came back exploring consciousness but staying grounded in business. See also Loic's newsletter at
Episode details
Traveling through “the Inca Gate”, the ancient portal of Chakana, Inca Trail, Peru

Back to my adventures in Peru, here is a story following “Daytime Shamanism and Healings in Peru.”

Birth and death are the only certainties we have. Why even bother thinking about talking to dead people?

The first time I heard about talking to dead people was funny enough through technology in November 2017. I was deep in Silicon Valley technology building and investing in startups when I met Eugenia Kuyda. Significantly few friends at the time were building or investing in AI. It was before ChatGPT and all the 2023 craziness. I met Eugenia through Phil Libin, who was already investing in AI, while Ben Parr was already obsessed with AI chatbots.

After Eugenia’s best friend died, she created in 2017 an AI chatbot from his texts to talk to him again. The AI chatbot to talk to the dead is called Replika and seems to focus today on recreating yourself into an AI. I do not know if the messages reached her friend, but here is why we would want to talk to the dead: we miss them. In some cases, talking to the dead can be a therapeutic tool. Psychologists and counselors may use “empty chair” therapy, where clients address a symbolic representation of the diseased to work through their emotions and unresolved issues.

Human’s search for immortality is a shared obsession fueled by our fear of death. There seem to be a few apps like Replika; is another app I have not tried; they advertise it as “the next step in human’s quest for immortality.” This question is irrelevant to those who believe in a continuation after death. I think our spirit is immortal while our body is just temporary. Everything material is temporary, so why bother saving it in a machine?

We could also have unfinished business with dead relatives or grief and closure. Communicating with the deceased can provide comfort and help us express our feelings, regrets, or unresolved questions.

So far, this is just technology that stores information about someone in a computer program and tries to speak like that dead person. Humans are so creepy that they will even create complete full-size robots that look like them. I am sure people will make love with their deceased spouse robot somewhere if it is not already available. Former Google engineer Ray Kurzweil also works on a digital afterlife for humans to resurrect his father.

How about talking to dead people for real instead of reproducing them in an AI?

Well, I found some ancient technologies for that, the “Stargate of the Andes” as they call it.

Listen to this episode with a 7-day free trial

Subscribe to

Loic's letter - Exploring the mysterious
to listen to this episode and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.