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Check here for new articles keeping you informed on topics relating to funeral service. 

The goal of this page is to keep you informed so we can serve you better. 

AI Generated Obituaries & What You Need to Know

What is (AI) Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence in simple terms is the science of making computer programs that can think like humans. The systems are designed to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. These systems and programs are intelligent enough to pick up on trending internet searches. These systems are then able to find the answers to these popular searches, and gather information from various sources, (most of which are social medial platforms)and generate an article, or document.

So how does this relate to online obituaries?

It is not uncommon when a family loses a loved one for there to be a gap of time (sometimes several days) between public knowledge of the death, and when the obituary, and funeral details are released and posted to a trusted online forum, or newspaper. This happens for many reasons, and in our experience a very common reason, simply put, is the amount of time and love that goes into writing obituaries honouring a loved one. The obituary is paying tribute to their life, and many hands go into the writing of it, and many eyes are overseeing the process.

This gap in time can lead to many members of the community searching for the answers online. They will head to a search engine, and type in some key words for example: the name of the deceased, the word obituary or funeral, and possibly the hometown/city of the person who has passed.

If there are a large number of these types of searches, they will trigger the artificial intelligence systems to do their research and gather as much information as possible. An example of a time that this is likely to happen would be when a predominant member of the community has passed away, and many community members are doing online searches seeking information.

The information gathered will be used to create an AI generated obituary, or tribute to the deceased. Often, the AI will take quotes of people who have posted about the deceased person online in an accessible public way.

It is not uncommon to login to social media and see a beautifully written tribute posts, and special memories shared by family, friends, and acquaintances of the person who has passed. If these posts are shared publicly, they are accessible, and therefore vulnerable to be scooped up by these types of AI generated websites. These words are then used within the AI generated obituary.  

Why does something like this exist?

The short of it is that these types of websites thrive and survive on “clicks” so the AI that is attached to the webpage will intentionally seek out the “commonly asked questions, and popular web searches” that are trending in the area and give the seekers what they are looking for by quickly gathering data and creating something for the viewing audience.



How can we prevent this from happening?

Unfortunately, the answer to this is not a simple one. The internet is a powerful, and amazing tool when it is used for good, but unfortunately it is not always used with the best intensions in mind. Some preventative measures that you can take are to hold off posting on your social media until the family of the deceased has shared the obituary. It may be therapeutic to write a tribute to the person who has passed, but choosing to wait to post it online might be something to consider. Another thing you can do is ensure that your settings are not set to “post publicly” or “public”, or your audience is not set to "Everyone”.  We offer a private direct way to send your online condolences through our website, to the families we serve. This is an excellent alternative to posting on a public forum, and it ensures your privacy is protected.

We have witnessed the power of the connection that the internet provides to the families that we serve. Many of the families we serve have family and friends all over the world and we see firsthand the ways that support is felt through messages of condolence. They are able to send their love and support from wherever they are. It is also a fantastic way of sharing and receiving information and reaching a large audience.

How do I know if the obituary or tribute is valid or from a trusted website?

  • Ensure that you are using the Funeral Home’s Webpage or Social Media page.

  • Many funeral home websites have a section on their website for you to sign up for funeral notifications. Enter your email to sign up and you will be enrolled to receive email notifications when a new obituary is posted. – Signing up for this will ensure that you are receiving information right from the source. Our website has this option at the bottom of the home page. Simply enter your email and click the “get notified” button.

  • Wait to get the link that is shared directly from a family member of the loved one who passed.


It is extremely disheartening to know that this type of thing is happening to grieving families. We have taken steps to report these types of webpages and sites, and it is important to us to educate families on this topic so they are better informed and will know what to look out for when seeking information online.

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