Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Workforce Institute board member Christian Kromme, a noted futurist and author focusing on disruptive innovation and exponential technologies.
Imagine it is 2030, and you have a digital double that can do work for you in the virtual world.
What is A Digital Double? A digital double is a digital version of you. A Digital Double is a mirror presence of you that lives exclusively in cyberspace. A virtual you; without actually being you. Your Digital Double thinks like you, works like you, communicates like you, answers messages like you, gathers information like you, makes connections like you, makes decisions like you and makes money like you.
But this isn’t simply something pretending to be you. Oh no, it’s way more than that. Your Digital Double is like a virtual extension of you, it can create things for you, and it can make decisions for you in the digital domain.
For the past thirty years between 2000 and today, all the interactions between you and the internet have been tracked, recorded, and stored in detail on massive data servers. Every search you made, every purchase you decided to make, every browser button you idly pressed, every transaction you did, every tweet you sent, every email you wrote, every social media post you created, every blog post you wrote, every photo you took, every YouTube video you loaded, every geographical location you visited, and even website you visited was tracked and stored in huge databases.
When, sometime around 2025, Big Tech got smart and wise enough to do something useful with the data, the smart machine learning algorithms had enough to “re-create” you. They learned from each interaction you made with the digital world. These smart algorithms made your digital profile even more personal, accurate, and even filled the gaps to create a perfect foundation for your Digital Double.
Due to a recently introduced privacy law, all this personal data is now owned and controlled by you. Today, you even have the ability to add intelligence and authority to that profile so it can act as your Digital Double in the digital world with data that wasn’t collected elsewhere. In other words, you were able to bring your (relatively dumb and uneducated) personal profile data to life by adding both real and artificial smartness and autonomy to your passive and reactive profile data.
In the first few months, your Digital Double started in test mode, and at first, you were only able to use it for things that didn’t have any dire consequences if it went wrong. After all, it was always going to take a little while for you to teach your Digital Double how to behave in certain situations and act in the digital world in a way that truly represented who you are. As your double became more mature (after a couple of months of intensive use), you got more and more confident to
allow it to make formal transactions and act as a legal person representing you in the virtual world.
It was amazing how quickly it picked things up and became a truly authentic digital version of you. It became a joy to allow it to go to meetings. Wow, how those meetings used to bore you; now you only have to attend the ones that feed your mind and soul. As it fully matured, the really fun part started!
Your Digital Double has one enormous advantage: it can be in multiple places at the same time. So, for example, it earns money (or some social currency or credits) for you in numerous places simultaneously. On top of that, your Digital Double participates in co-creation communities, teaches other people’s Digital Doubles specific skills or knowledge that you have, and there’s a growing market for Digital Double skills. Like the voice in your head, your Digital Double will reflect on things for you and give you advice for the real world, and vice versa. If your Digital Double isn’t sure about something, it simply asks before it pops back over to cyberspace and takes action for you.
And while your Digital Double is very busy in the virtual world, often at 1,000 places simultaneously (because you are very in demand these days), you can enjoy life to the fullest in the real world. Your Digital Double deals with the official and boring stuff, so you don’t have to. Life is much more fun. In short, your Digital Double is a virtual extension of you, on steroids! It’s a virtual extension of you and a firewall to protect the real you from digital overload. But the best part of all is that the true you gets be more human in the real world.