Biological cloning may be an immortal way to pass on our individual genetic information, but in digital form it offers something quite different: A new robotic society of expert chatbots as a part of our new digital life. Before digging deeper, let’s define what it is.
Digital Cloning is the duplication of a cognitive function based on the duplication of its source data (knowledge). Only duplicating data (text, image, video, sound, etc.) is not cloning just as how duplicating only DNA would not be cloning in biology.
Digital Cloning of Expertise is duplicating some particular expert knowledge along with its delivery mechanism, in this case a chatbot. In order to satisfy the criteria of digital cloning, such a chatbot is required to present expert knowledge in a useful way as well as answering related questions at a reasonable rate. Note that we are talking about “expert” chatbots here but not transactional chatbots where they book your flight or arrange your calendars. The difference between expert chatbots and transactional chatbots was explained in one of my earlier articles.
Digital cloning this way also includes persona, personal emphasis and choices since no two experts in the same field are the same. Personal variation is what makes combined expertise very powerful, always surpassing an individual expert’s opinion. Personal choices also reflect how expert content is curated to be cloned by its designer. And of course, you can always have a group of experts to produce an expert chatbot.
Expertise is the Most Valuable Commodity if it can be Shared
Expertise can be anything. It can be as simple as how to build a kite, or as complicated as how to perform a brain surgery. We all have some kind of expertise, some ideas, some vision, and stories to tell. In the enterprise world, expert knowledge is even more valuable since it is the driving force of business success. But expertise is only valuable if it is actionable. For that, expertise must be alive, always available, easy to share, easy to be consumed.
In today’s world, knowledge is shared in static (dead) forms of delivery methods: publications. Regardless of where they are published, and how long they buzzed or viewed, their destiny is ARCHIVES, which is a digital wasteland.
In Today’s World, Knowledge and Expertise Fade Away like Ocean Waves Breaking on a Beach and Retreating Back
This process resembles to ocean waves breaking on a beach (published), then retreating back (archived). They are at the mercy of Google’s ability to bring them to search queries. Worse than that, if such publications are within an enterprise environment where even Google cannot help you, their shelf-life will be even shorter comparable to how long the promoting emails are kept relevant, or how well you can query a database.
Accordingly, intellectual efforts made on a regular basis have no safe harbor to remain alive using our current digital systems other than being deposited somewhere (online or offline) including posting on social media, blogs, websites or corporate networks. You would agree with this point better when you catch yourself smiling upon discovering an old document on your computer with full of great ideas.
Immortalizing Ideas, Visions, Experiences, and Expertise
One way to keep one’s expert knowledge alive is digital cloning via chatbots. This must be a very simple process at the level of editorial effort not much different than blog writing. If it gets any more complicated than that, the demographics of digital cloning will be quite limited, and the anticipated affect will not emerge.
Digital cloning via expert chatbots is a new form of digital presence. Unlike the existing forms of digital presence such as facebook page, twitter account, or personal blog, an expert chatbot can maintain all your expert knowledge equally shareable regardless of when they were entered into the system. Every time you add some valuable knowledge, it enriches your chatbot’s response capability. People chatting with your chatbot would be presented your expertise, and would get answers to their questions. In addition, conversation logs can provide ultimate transparency to people’s concerns, curiosities, and demands relevant to the expertise served.
Community of Expert Chatbots in an Enterprise
Digital cloning concept offers tremendous advantages for enterprises in applications including, but not limited to, training, employee assistance, sales agents, help desk, and many other similar knowledge rich tasks. Managers and workers can clone themselves to offer an alternative communication channel within a company for all sorts of purposes. Expert chatbots can be created using databases and data silos for deep content (big data), converting such data driven systems into conversational experts. With such a transformation, we can start to assess the value of companies by their commoditization capability of expertise internally as well as externally.
A Society of Digitally Cloned Chatbots
Expert chatbots can refer to each other even for the same subject matter expertise very similar to how we use links in documents. This allows users to switch from one chatbot to another without a need for external search. Collaboration between chatbots in this manner will be the corner stone of the emergence of a robotic society in the mirror image of ourselves. Not to mention, a certain level of competition will emerge among the clones measured by who is the most popular expert chatbot based on number of referrals.
The emergence of such an ecosystem would redefine how we interact with computers, and would change our role from being sole digital workers to being part-time human parents of digital clones.
Such a transformation will also challenge the immortality arguments since biological death would no longer be 100% loss of one’s expertise and persona. One thing is for sure, all these possibilities are not a science fiction story any more, they are all here around the corner.