Needless to say, I’m just day-dreaming. But digital twins of some sort could emerge as harbingers of a workplace world in which algorithms and artificial intelligence acquire our experience and our problem-solving skills – and, perhaps, even our creativity and our decision-making skills. But before that can happen, all our human skills have to be defined and mapped in some way. Throughout their full complexity. My colleagues are nice enough to confirm that I have a little more substance to offer than a blue-haired anime girl does. On the other hand, such an avatar might not need Jutta Rahenbrock’s full range of skills and knowledge. In most knowlege-work scenarios, for example, my avatar would not need my ability to play a musical instrument … or to crochet a toilet-paper cover. This would reduce its complexity and thus could simplify many of the processes involved. And my avatar wouldn’t need a full map of my DNA (of the kind needed for medical tests, for example). In principle, I could teach neural networks to do my job. Hopefully, they would then be able to do more than simply manage my notices of absence.
A company that made use of my skills in this way would have to pay me for the privilege. I would draw a basic salary as long as my avatar worked in the company’s virtual workspace. Complex tasks that my avatar couldn’t handle, and where I would need to jump in, would be billed extra, on a pay-per-use basis. The union would monitor the whole process, to ensure that no other companies violated my personal “copyright” by illicitly copying my avatar’s skills. Or a blockchain would protect my copyright. Supposely, blockchains can do just about anything now.