Ray Kurzweil, a prominent inventor and “futurist” who has long predicted that mind and machine will one day merge, has been making arrangements to talk to his dead father through the help of a computer.

“I will be able to talk to this re-creation,” he explained. “Ultimately, it will be so realistic it will be like talking to my father.”

Kurzweil’s father, an orchestra conductor, has been gone for more than 40 years.

However, the 63-year-old inventor has been gathering boxes of letters, documents and photos in his Newton, Mass., home with the hopes of one day being able to create an avatar, or a virtual computer replica, of his late father. The avatar will be programmed to know everything about Kurzweil’s father’s past, and will think like his father used to, if all goes according to plan.

“You can certainly argue that, philosophically, that is not your father,” Kurzweil said. “That is a replica, but I can actually make a strong case that it would be more like my father than my father would be, were he to live.”

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