The bulk of my life exists in an unscripted podcast spanning over eleven years. Can I be fully cloned by Artificial Intelligence?
On March 16th, 2008 I started a podcast called Passenger Seat Radio. Well, technically it was called Car Talk — but it turned out NPR already had a radio show named that so a title change was in order.
This unscripted show is recorded by me during my thirteen mile commute home from work; originally on a small digital voice recorder (to be uploaded later) then eventually to be done “live” using a mobile phone and the Spreaker.com podcasting service — which is how I still do the show today.
Doing the show live is great because I can interact with fans (at red lights, of course) inside a “chat room” on my phone while the show unfolds.
A lot has happened to be over the last eleven years. Almost every milestone of my life has been discussed and recorded; both past and present. This includes childhood stories, my previous marriage, my career in the U.S. Navy … every pet I’ve owned and how they died.
Almost everything. Couple things were withheld … but not much.
Aside from probably being a terrible security risk there is something else I hadn’t considered over a decade ago.
We are the sum of our experiences. My experiences are all in an audio format. Speech transcription is moving in leaps and bounds. My experiences in toto can be consumed by machines.
Could my life train an artificial intelligent being?
Could I be … cloned?
Think about it. My voice, my speech patterns — my very memories and how I was raised is all available. Powerful machine learning could even derive how I came about making choices in my life and carry these possibilities forward based on predictive algorithms.
A sentient digital life form could actually become … me. A damn convincing version of … me. It wouldn’t know all of my secrets — but it would know enough to fool almost anyone I knew on the phone or text message or email.
It might even be able to call my bank and convince them that it is …. me.
Of course, not everyone has their whole life captured on thousands of hours of audio. But even those that have never committed a single minute of their life to a podcast?
They shop for things on Amazon. They use Gmail. They buy stuff using a grocer card. They stream music … movies .. TV shows. They use Facebook and Twitter. They use ride-sharing services. Book vacations and rent cars from apps on their phone. They never turned off location services on said phones.
Yes, I think I could be cloned. Virtualized. Botified. I could power the voice of David Hasselhoff’s next car.
Every year, though — I’m less alone in my ability to be duplicated as more and more data about we humans are fed into machines and algorithms.
Meanwhile, I’ll use my podcast as a cathartic means of transcribing my existence to share with my children, grandchildren and the 200k people that have shared part of my life on Passenger Seat Radio.
After all .. it’s too late now, right?