An ancient Indian proverb says: If you know the present, you can know the future. Today, digital twin technology promises us to know every moment what’s going on in our world, so will it reveal to us the secrets of the future?
The explosion of oxygen tanks on the Apollo 13 spacecraft launched in April 1970 would have been catastrophic if NASA had not created a similar twin for this spacecraft at Earth Station, enabling engineers to find the best possible solution more than 300 000 km away to test. spaceship.
This can be considered as an early application of the concept of twins, although it was not digital at the time. Lessons learned from this event led to the idea of creating a high-resolution digital version of the spacecraft, to facilitate problem-solving.
But this idea has not been clearly crystallized, except in the 2010 roadmap report, released by NASA researcher John Vickers, called “Digital Twin,” which was started 8 years ago by the American academic Michael Graves.
Interest in the digital twin began to grow after Gartner Research Corporation (Gartner) placed it in its list of the top 10 future technology trends in 2017.
The proliferation of fifth generation (5G) networks that are 100 times faster than the fourth generation, and the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices have played a key role in the rapid development of digital twin projects, as the number of installed internet or Things devices and sensors worldwide by the end of 2021 have reached about 12.2 billion, and the number is expected to rise to about 27 billion by 2025, according to IoT Analytics, an Internet of Things research company.
Digital twin possibilities
In theory, a digital twin could be created for any physical or service body or system. A digital twin can be created for a car, any device, an integrated plant, a company, a city, a government, a family, an individual or a human member.
To create a digital twin of an entity, that entity must constantly transfer all the changing information associated with it to its digital twin.
This has become possible in many cases, due to the billions of sensors and smart video cameras that have also been deployed in many developed cities and institutions.
For example, it is possible to create a digital heart for a heart patient and place sensors in the human body that in real time send all the conditions and changes that take place in the organic heart to the digital heart (digital twins), which makes it possible to predict. possible heart attacks in advance through intelligent analysis programs.
This also applies to industrial products, companies, cities and governments, which improve the chances of predicting the future. He also predicts that by the world of 2050 it will be possible to create a complete digital twin of humans.
Human digital twins
There are two different perceptions of the concept of the digital twin of man that is currently being circulated. The first talks about creating a digital copy of the 2045 initiative launched by Russian billionaire Dmitry Itkov, which aims to spread the data of his mind and personality on a supercomputer, in the pursuit of digital immortality by 2045.
This means that the budding digital twin can act and act independently of his biological twins and do their job while the original person is playing somewhere else.
The digital twins in this scenario can live forever, and there is currently talk of the possibility that these digital twins are living in the world of metaverse that is currently being created.
The second scenario, which is the closest to the concept of digital twins, as it revolves around connecting the human body with sensors that transmit everything that happens in the body, moment by moment, to a supercomputer, equipped with smart programs that making it possible to analyze the flowing. data and the prediction of the future behavior of each member thereof, which inevitably leads to a noticeable increase in the healthy lifespan for humans.
The question is: How can so many sensors be implanted in the human body?
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have devised an uncomplicated scientific method to shrink objects more than a thousand times in size. The new method, for example, allows the creation of very small robot particles that roam through the human body and control all the events that take place in it.
Prediction of the future of the earth
At the end of 2021, Nvidia began work to create a digital twin of the Earth, which, through smart sensors covering the Earth, provides continuous real-time information about light, gravity, magnetism, temperature, humidity, rain and many other indicators receiving, leading to the production of a large amount of data that a giant computer needs to store it and smart programs To process it, which the company is currently developing under the name “Earth-2”, so that these digital twins can predict the future of the Earth with much higher accuracy than the accuracy of current predictions.
Will man’s success in fusing his environment completely digitally lead to the birth of the magical crystal ball that enables us to know the future?
Digital twins will definitely enable us to see the future much better than we can today.
But according to the “Uncertainty Principle” theory formulated by the German physicist Werner Heisenberg in 1927, we can not accurately predict the future, no matter how far scientific progress is, because “we can simply not, in principle, the do not know the present. “