How can digital twin technology support digital sustainability?

In today’s digital world, not only do people have a ‘second’ or ‘parallel’ (i.e. digitised) life – through avatars, online user profiles and other digital identities – but digital copies of other physical realities also exist in a virtual form. These copies are called ‘digital twins’. In the latest broadcast about digital sustainability on De Nieuwe Wereld’s YouTube channel, the focus will be on digital twin technology and how digital twins could play a role in improving digital sustainability.

Digital twins make it possible to experiment and see what would happen under various conditions. This is particularly useful in the case of complex objects or environments for which the risk of accidents is too high, costly or potentially dangerous to do so in real life. 

What happens to the oxygen level in a defective space probe? How does air quality affect a wind farm after 23 years? How will a patient’s heart react to an experimental treatment? To answer these and other questions, digital twin technology can combine physical models, strategically placed sensors and immense amounts of data to explore all possible scenarios in the digital reality in real time. As a result, digital twins are already proving useful in the development of vehicles, transportation networks, medicines and more. 

What other opportunities could digital twins create? Perhaps inspiration can be found in the visual arts. In the Nxt Museum in Amsterdam, imagination and technology come together in a number of installations that point out the possibilities – and potential dangers – of digital twins. In this broadcast, journalist and philosopher Ad Verbrugge talks to Nxt Museum Director Merel van Helsdingen, artist Julia Janssen and Ronald Meester, a professor of probability theory, to explore the value of digital twin technology in the context of digital sustainability.

This talk show is part of a series organised by De Nieuwe Wereld and INNOPAY on the topic of digital sustainability.

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