THANOS magazine

United States | October 24, 2023

Can AI Make Obit Writing Easier?

By Jessica Koth, National Funeral Directors Association, USA

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about ChatGPT. While the core function of a chatbot is to mimic a conversation with a human being, ChatGPT goes further and is much more versatile. For example, it can write and debug computer programs; compose music, teleplays, fairy tales, and student essays; answer test questions; write poetry and song lyrics; and even play games like, tic-tac-toe.

Photo Alexandra_Koch /Pixabay

To take a step back, ChatGPT is AI – Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial intelligence is the theory and development of computer systems that can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

Up until recently, AI has largely been experimental and used by developers and techies. But ChatGPT brought AI to the ordinary person.

There’s been quite a bit of news coverage exploring how easily accessible AI will impact us – from schools (is it cheating if a student uses AI to help write an essay?) to the application of AI in businesses (can it help marketers write copy for a sales brochure?). Just do a Google search and you’ll find a plethora of articles.

AI and Funeral Service

I wanted to better understand what all the fuss was about ChatGPT and how it might impact my work in public relations and the work that you do as funeral service professionals. So, I signed up for an account – a relatively simple process that begins by visiting

A lot of the news coverage has revolved around the use of ChatGPT by students on writing projects. What’s equivalent to that in the world of funeral service? Writing obituaries!

I was bold and I typed in the question “How can AI help a family write an obituary?”


Read whole article in the autumn issue of THANOS magazine - you can read online at pages 20-22

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