While most people think of “digital twins” as the virtual version of an asset, processor or system that can be used to emulate a real-world object in a virtual world, I personally can’t wait until we have digital twins of ourselves.
Like the digital twin in that “Greta cookie” episode of Black Mirror (great series although a bit pessimistic about the future), you know the one, where they use a technology called a “cookie”, which is implanted in your head and creates a digital copy of you over time, learning about the way you act based on observing your actions over time. Of course, the episode gets dark after that, but I see no ethical downside to creating a digital version of yourself, designed to act in a similar way to you, and setting it to task performing all the dull stuff you’d rather not do, or aren’t very good at.
I’ve said before that we all spend a lot of our days doing mundane things that barely tax our amazing human brains. Would it not be great that something like a digital twin – which acts like our own personal virtual assistant – could take care of all of the boring stuff we have to do in our days, thus freeing us up to think the big thoughts?
Sure, maybe a full-on replica of ourselves might be too much to ask for right now, but what about creating a sub-set of ourselves? We could spin off various sub-selves to do all manner of things to save us time – creating these intelligent virtual versions of ourselves focused on a single task or two.
For example, let’s say that I’m terrible at remembering birthdays and anniversaries. would it be so terrible to create a sub-set personality bot of myself which remembers dates, and selects and sends proper greetings and gifts when required? Maybe you create the bot online and like the cookie or Nest – it self-learns my communication patterns – when and how I connect and communicate with people, how I remember things and send gifts etc. After a few days or weeks, it’s become a version of me, but only in regard to dates, messages, and gifts.
Once its more or less defined my actions, I then go in and “revise” it to be better than me. I tell it what dates to remember (and it never forgets as it’s not a fallible human) and what kind of messages to send, and what price range of gifts to get depending on the social strength of the connection. It then goes off and remembers dates, and after researching awesome messages and gifts that the recipient would appreciate, sends them or has them delivered. All under my name, of course.
My bot makes me a better human, friend, relative and spouse, and it frees me up to spend time with other things. Sure, maybe this example is a little creepy, (and probably better suited for pure introverts) but think of the 100s of mundane things you’d prefer to have someone else do for you.
Wouldn’t you prefer that a part of you – as a sub-set digital twin – be doing it? It’s not so different than delegating an autonomous vehicle to drive for you, or a human virtual assistant to book your meetings and do your internet research for you.
I, for one, welcome our new digital underlings. ?