You could have a ‘digital twin’

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 21 September 2014 | 23.08

Taking shape ... Microsoft's Cortana is seen as an early version of "digital twin" technology. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

WITHIN five years you could have a "digital twin" capable of making decisions for you and even interacting with loved ones after you die, a technology expert says.

John Smart, a futurist and founder of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, theorises that advances in computer science will soon allow computer-based versions of ourselves to act as our personal agents — automatically filling out forms or scheduling appointments.

One day, these digital twins could even hold conversations and have faces that mimic human emotion.

"They will become increasingly like us and extensions of us," Smart tells Business Insider.

For digital twin technology to reach its full potential, Smart says, there needs to be better conversational interfaces and semantic maps.

But we're already off to a good start with software like Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana and "Eugene Goostman" — a computer program that imitates a teenager, which recently passed the Turing test.

Eventually, digital twins could draw on our writing, email, smartphone data and verbal feedback to formulate a detailed record of our individual interests and values over time.

"Where we're headed is creating this world in which you feel you have this thing out there looking after your values," he says.

"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."

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