As the great Albert Einstein once said, “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
If you’ve ever watched Transcendence, you know that futurists who try to create a sentient machine that is capable of mimicking an actual human being and expressing emotions doesn’t have a very sweet ending.
However, considering the direction technology is headed, and society’s willingness to let digitalism pretty much control every aspect of their lives, it wouldn’t be surprising if people welcomed the development of a real-life digital twin of themselves with open arms.
According to futurist and founder of the Acceleration Studies Foundation John Smart, as early as 2020 there will, in fact, be digital versions of people beginning to manage and influence our everyday lives.
“[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,” Smart told Business Insider.
For this to be possible, developers would need access to more advanced “conversational interfaces and semantic maps,” which they’re not too far off from designing.
Apparently, these digital twins will also make us immortal; at least, in a sense. By imitating our emotions, thoughts, characteristics, and voice, they will be capable of comforting our loved ones once we depart this life. Eventually, Smart believes that these otherwordly beings will also have life-like faces, as well as pull private data from our smartphones, emails and voice to plot your values and interests on a map.
“Where we’re headed is creating this world in which you feel you have this thing out there looking after your values,” he explained.
And Smart isn’t without allies on this quest to make Artificial Intelligence an integrated part of daily existence. Google’s Engineering Director and fellow futurist Ray Kurzweil alleges that in a little over 30 years, humans will have the ability to upload their psyche to computers and therefore become digitally immortal.
Speaking of immortal, Skurzweil is also convinced that by 2100, people will begin having biological parts of their bodies replaced with mechanical part — turning us into humanoids.