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WIRED's August cover story is the personal account of writer James Vlahos' quest to give his dying father eternal life by creating a chatbot of him, per a release:

"Vlahos has long been interested in conversational computing. Even as an 11-year-old, he was fascinated with an early chatbot prototype that ran on a Commodore PET computer at his local library. He's also currently at work on a book about conversational computing."

"[W]hen Vlahos' father received a cancer diagnosis in April 2016, the idea of creating a chatbot of his father popped into his mind almost immediately."

He writes: "I dream of creating a Dadbot — a chatbot that emulates not a children's toy but the very real man who is my father. And I have already begun gathering the raw materials: those 91,970 words [in a binder] that are destined for my bookshelf."

"The story follows Vlahos through the last few months of his now-deceased father's life, while [the writer] learns how to code for the decision-tree responses of a chatbot and navigates the moral and emotional responses of his mother, siblings, wife and sons, as he creates Dadbot."

Read the story and watch the video.

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Updated 46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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  3. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
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Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 hours ago - Health

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.