On page 80 of the Digital Bulletin, WWT's Philip Farah discusses with James Henderson a range of talking points, from the role digital twins can play in strengthening cybersecurity in financial environments, to what real-world improvements could arise from attaching digital sensors to our infrastructure.

Digital twins are big business right now - what is driving this trend?

The idea of modelling the physical world has been around for centuries. This is what applied mathematics is about. With the emergence of electronics, scientists started applying various wave functions to an electronic black box to derive the architecture and composition of electronic components inside the box. In 1982 Richard Feynman proposed the idea of simulating how atoms 'physically interact' using quantum computers.

Today advances in computing, data management, machine learning, automation and IoT (sensors connecting the physical and virtual fabrics) are coming together to enable us to replicate the physical reality in the virtual world. The drivers behind this trend is the omni- present human thirst to accelerate and de-risk – one can run many more simulations at low to no risk in the virtual world.

How much has the emergence of hyper-automation furthered digital twin technology?

Significantly. Automation is the result of adding a software layer (and intelligence) on top of physical items (cars, networks, cities, etc). The problem with automation is that the productivity savings that it enables come at a risk.


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