Don’t want your cat Ferguson to miss you when you’re dead? Your digital twin can make sure that never happens.
John Smart, a futurist and founder of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, predicts that by as early as 2020, digital versions of ourselves will be able to control and run parts of our everyday lives — from scheduling appointments to having conversations with others.
They’ll also make us immortal (to a degree), by mimicking our voice, emotions, mannerisms and thoughts to console our loved ones once we’re gone.
“[Digital twins] will become increasingly like us and extensions of us…
When you and I die, our kids aren’t going to go to our tombstones, they’re going to fire up our digital twins and talk to them,” he told Business Insider.
Smart also believes that they’ll eventually have faces that mimic human emotion.
However, in order for digital twins to become a reality, we would need to develop better conversational interfaces and semantic maps. But Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and “Eugene Gootsman” — a computer program that can imitate a teen— prove we’re not far off.
Smart explains that over time, digital twins will pull from our emails, smartphone data and verbal feedback to create a map of our individual interests and values.
“Where we’re headed is creating this world in which you feel you have this thing out there looking after your values,” he said.
He isn’t alone in his predictions. Google’s Engineering Director/futurist Ray Kurzweil claims that in just over 30 years, humans will be able to upload their minds to computers and become digitally immortal — this is referred to as “singularity.”
Kurzweil has also suggested that by 2100, biological parts of our body will be replaced with mechanical parts — sort of making us immortal robots.
My only question is, can we alter our twins’ personalities? Because I’d like mine to be a little sassier, like me with a side of Tina Fey.