Digital twins of individual people are becoming increasingly plausible. Personal digital twins—sophisticated digital models that incorporate a variety of features from a person, including the person's appearance, medical data, and potentially even voice and mannerisms—could serve purposes such as capturing real-time medical data, providing companionship for the elderly, and performing administrative tasks on behalf of the owner.
Technology developments that support the emergence of personal digital twins include improved avatars for metaverses, adoption of health and wearable sensors, and progress in conversational and humanlike AI. Discrete digital twins could isolate and protect data for privacy purposes; however, some development pathways could result in the ownership of personal digital twins by employers or tech firms rather than by individuals.
Abstracts That Inspired This Pattern
Technology analyst Rob Enderle claims that people will have the first iterations of thinking human digital twins "before the end of the decade." According to Enderle, the emergence of such digital twins will require "a huge amount of thought and ethical consideration, because a thinking replica of ourselves could be incredibly useful to employers." For example, employers might prefer to hire unpaid digital twins over hiring their human counterparts.
University of Pittsburgh spin‑out BioSystics "is an 8‑month‑old database and analytics outfit that serves research institutions and Big Pharma clients by managing and modeling complex data—the raw materials for creating digital patient twins." The company's aim is to match medicines to individuals.
At an electronics conference in June 2022, Amazon.com demonstrated a feature for its Alexa voice assistant "that allows the voice assistant to replicate a specific human voice." An Amazon representative suggested that the feature—which the company is still developing—could aid in memorializing a user's deceased relative by emulating that relative's voice even after the relative has died.
Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently demonstrated four virtual-reality- (VR-) headset prototypes, each of which implements one of four highly advanced VR features that Meta claims are necessary to make VR "indistinguishable from reality." Meta ultimately wants to market a single low-cost VR headset that implements all four of these features.