Nov 8, 2022

Digital Doubles and Second Selves

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, automation, big data, computing, cyborgs, evolution, futurism, information science, innovation, internet, life extension, machine learning, neuroscience, posthumanism, robotics/AI, singularity, software, supercomputing

This time I come to talk about a new concept in this Age of Artificial Intelligence and the already insipid world of Social Networks. Initially, quite a few years ago, I named it “Counterpart” (long before the TV series “Counterpart” and “Black Mirror”, or even the movie “Transcendence”).

It was the essence of the ETER9 Project that was taking shape in my head.

Over the years and also with the evolution of technologies — and of the human being himself —, the concept “Counterpart” has been getting better and, with each passing day, it makes more sense!

Imagine a purely digital receptacle with the basics inside, like that Intermediate Software (BIOS(1)) that computers have between the Hardware and the Operating System. That receptacle waits for you. One way or another, it waits patiently for you, as if waiting for a Soul to come alive in the ether of digital existence.

This vision of mine is no longer as lonely as it used to be. It is now a reality that is coming closer and closer! And it takes shape even faster when it is reinforced with what former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said at this year’s Collision Conference.

Humans will soon have a Second Self, made by Artificial Intelligence.

These digital receptacles are basic Artificial Intelligences waiting for the “Digital Soul” of each human being! With that Soul is born your Digital Double (or ‘dduplicata’ as I affectionately called it during this BETA journey of creation), your Second Self.

Initially, a child Second Self, but as eager for knowledge as a child is in its first years of life. Your Operating System, unlike the computers themselves (CP/M, DOS, OS/2, Windows, Linux, macOS, …) emerges in the Second Self in a very unique way. We could use here the expression “all different, all equal” because each Second Self will have its own Operating System that, thanks to the “Digital Soul”, differentiates itself from its peers.

The Machine Learning of the digital counterpart is based on the behaviors and “personality” of the human counterpart. Therefore, there is no Absolute Law to regulate or manage ethics, but rather the common sense of each human counterpart. It will be up to each human counterpart to “feed” its digital version with the best of itself.

I do not hide my desire to create a virtual repository of human life. Part of the future, dystopian or not, will be like this. I hope to be able to make my greatest contribution towards a better future of humanity. Should I fail in time, there will be many minds available to do so.

We must not, however, forget one very important thing. Artificial Intelligence and subsequent Superintelligence, or General Artificial Intelligence, originate from the human being. The human being is the creator God of this technology, and by using it we invoke Angels or Demons. We are solely and exclusively responsible for the creation of the “Angels” and the “Demons”. If one day we start blaming the machines, then we lose this great challenge right from the start.

In a digital world like today’s and the one that lies ahead, the fusion between machine and human is inevitable. The question is how. Superficial? Absolute fusion?
I prefer to see a future of Artificial Intelligence where Superintelligence does not reign just because it has a higher cognitive capacity than humans. If we know how to interpret the signals and take appropriate action, we will be smart enough to enjoy Superintelligence as we enjoy Artificial Intelligence today.

Imagine a company and its employees. Now imagine those employees being more intelligent than their superiors. This scenario is very common!

Intelligence alone does not guarantee success, personally or professionally. There are many variables that change what most people think is obvious. Success is not obvious to the intelligent. There are other factors that contribute to it. Factors that, I dare say, in a time of technological singularity, will not be part of non-human intelligence. They may be, if they are united with humans, and then it’s a different story.

There are many extremely intelligent people who have no success at all. This is a small example that corroborates the coexistence with Superintelligences without them taking control.

As Alan Turing himself (2) suggested, the way to Artificial Intelligence, is to build a machine with the curiosity of a child, and let the intelligence evolve, with the help of external oracles and not simulate the mind of an adult.

I am convinced that, with basic digital receptacles (child-machines) to start the counterparts journey, is the best method.

By allowing the digital counterpart of each human being to be born with only the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), and then be subjected to an appropriate learning trajectory, we would be able to obtain a digital brain of an adult.

By then we could look at our Second Self (SSelf) as our best version living and evolving endlessly in the digital world.

(1) BIOS — Basic Input/Output System
(2) Alan Turing (1912−1954) was a British mathematician, computer pioneer, and considered today as the father of computer science and Artificial Intelligence.

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