Emergence of Digital Twins - Is this the march of reason?

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Shoumen Palit Austin Datta


Multiple forms of digital transformation are imminent. Digital Twins represent one concept, where we may use tools and technologies to “map” data (bits) from objects (atoms). It is gaining momentum because the “map” can act as a “compass” to reveal the status of atoms (things, devices, components, machines, people), process visibility and real-time transparency. Adoption of digital proxies, or digital duplicates, may face hurdles due to lack of semantic interoperability between architectures, standards and ontologies. The technologies necessary for automated discovery are in short supply. Progress depends on the convergence of information technology, operational technology and protocol-agnostic telecommunications. Making sense of the data, ability to curate data, and perform data analytics, at the edge (or mist, rather than in the fog or cloud) is key to value. Delivering algorithm engines to the edge, are crucial for edge analytics, if latency is detrimental. The confluence of these, and other factors, may chart the future path for Digital Twins. The number of unknown unknowns, and the known unknowns, in this process, makes it imperative to create global infrastructures and organize groups, to pursue the development of fundamental building blocks. We need new ideas and research in new domains to generate creative and innovative solutions. 

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