It happens a lot in life that a friend tells you that he saw someone who looks exactly like you as if he was a copy of you, and that he went to greet him only to be surprised that he was not you, or that you are somewhere and a stranger passes by, you look at him and you are surprised by the similarity between you and him, as if he is your twin.

This has happened to me, you and many of us in this life, but imagine if you could create your own twin, an exact copy of yourself, but this time a purely digital twin?

Is this really possible?

Why not, we live in an age where everything in the real world is being digitally replicated, including our cities, our cars, our homes, and even ourselves.

Like your avatar in the Metaverse, digital twins are a hot new tech trend;

A digital twin “is a virtual representation of an object or system that spans its lifecycle, is updated from real-time data, and uses simulation, machine learning, and reasoning to aid decision-making for its twin,” as IBM defines it on its official platform.

According to a report by Forbes magazine issued a few days ago, the digital twin is an interesting concept, and it is undoubtedly one of the most important and latest technology trends at the present time. It is a concept capable of integrating many ideas and technologies together, including “artificial intelligence.” (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), metaverses, and virtual and augmented reality (VR & AR) to create digital models of real-world objects, systems, or processes, which can then be used to adjust and adjust variables, to study the impact that It occurs on a real or cloned twin, at a fraction of the cost of conducting experiments in the real world.

In the beginning and years ago, these twins were just 3D computer models, but with the development of the mentioned technologies, we can now build something digital that we can learn from, and that is able to help us improve life, and make healthier and more accurate choices in whatever problems we may face.

And the most important question: Is it possible to create a thinking human digital twin in the near future?

Technology analyst Rob Underley: We'll have the first versions of human-thinking digital twins before the end of the decade (Getty Images)

The question was posed by the English writer Jane Wakefield, in a report on the topic recently published by the BBC, and this question is answered by technology analyst Rob Underley, who believes that we will have the first versions of human digital twins “before the end of the decade.” current".

And Anderley explains - in his statements - that “the emergence of these things will require a tremendous amount of mental and moral thinking, because an exact copy of ourselves can be incredibly useful to employers,” but it may be used to harm the people themselves, for example, “What happens if Your company creates a digital twin for you, and then it says, "Hey, we have this digital twin that we don't pay any salaries for, so why do we need you and hire you?"

And Anderlei believes that the ownership of such digital twins will become one of the defining questions of the next metaphysical age. "We have already begun our journey towards human-twining in the form of avatars or avatars used in the worlds of today's metaphysics, although they are still primitive and somewhat falter."

Anderley points out that, in the Horizon workrooms recently created by Meta, "you can give your avatar a face similar to yours, but you can't provide it with legs for movement, for example, because this technology is what It is still in its early stages.

Professor Sandra Wachter, eminent professor of artificial intelligence at the University of Oxford, understands the allure of creating digital twins for humans.

"Whether a person can succeed in his studies, fail, get sick, or even commit a crime, it all depends on the question of nature versus nurture and the surrounding social environment, a philosophical question that remains highly debated as all of the above will depend on a lot of things," she says. These include good or bad luck, friends and family, their socioeconomic background and environment, and of course their personal choices.”

Wachter explains that AI is not yet good at predicting these “individual social events, given their inherent complexity, and so, we have a long way to go until we can understand and shape a person’s life from start to finish, assuming that is at all possible” with the aim of getting to the point Create a complete digital twin of it. Alternatively, digital twins can now be used in the areas of product design, distribution, and urban planning.

McLaren and Red Bull use these twins in their Formula 1 races (Getty)

Practical applications are currently underway

Among the applications already underway that Wakefield mentioned, in her report, is the use of these twins by McLaren and Red Bull in their Formula 1 races, while DHL is working on it. (DHL) to create a digital map of its warehouses and supply chains to become more efficient.

There are also many major cities in the world that have established digital twins, such as Shanghai and Singapore, to help improve the design and operation of buildings, transportation systems, and streets;

For example, in Singapore, one of the tasks of the digital twin is to help find new ways to get away from traffic jams and avoid areas of pollution.

Other places are using this technology to suggest where to build new infrastructure such as subway lines, and new cities in the Middle East are being built simultaneously in the real and digital worlds.

French software company Dassault Systems says it is now seeing interest from thousands of companies worldwide in its digital twins technology, and the company's work so far has included using digital twins to help the hair care company digitally design more sustainable shampoo bottles, rather than models. Endless primary in real life, this reduces waste and environmental pollution as the company asserts.

The company, according to Wakefield, also enables institutions and other companies to design new future projects, from floating bicycles, to flying cars, where a digital model of these products is built and tested virtually before being transported and manufactured on the ground.

These are all great robotic applications, but the real value we see in digital twins lies in the healthcare field.

digital heart

In this context, Dessault Systems' Living Heart Project has created an accurate virtual model of the human heart that can be tested and analyzed, allowing surgeons to implement a series of "what if" scenarios for this organ, using different medical procedures and devices.

The writer pointed out that this vital project was founded by Dr. Steve Levine, who had personal reasons for wanting to create a digital twin as his daughter was born with a congenital heart disease, and a few years later, when she was in her late twenties, she became at risk of heart failure, so he decided Recreate her heart in virtual reality.

Boston Children's Hospital is now using the technology to map patients' real heart conditions, while at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, a team of engineers are working with doctors to test devices that might help children with rare and difficult to treat heart conditions.

And experimenting with the "digital heart" has the indirect effect of reducing the need for animal testing - one of the most controversial aspects of scientific research, says Severine Troillette, Dessault Systems' director of global affairs.

The company is now planning to produce more twins of digital organs, including the eyes and even the brain.

"At some point, we will all have a digital twin, which will contribute to the development of preventive medicine to new levels, all the way to the personalization of each treatment according to each person's disease," Troillette stresses.

And the race to build a digital copy of our entire planet may be more ambitious than cloning human organs

In this context, the American software company "Nvidia" (Nvidia), runs a platform called "Omniverse", designed to create virtual worlds and digital twins, and one of its most ambitious projects is to build a digital image similar to the Earth, and to take high-resolution images of its entire surface.

Earth-2, as it is called, will use a combination of deep learning models and neural networks to mimic physical environments in the digital realm and come up with solutions to climate change.

In March, the European Commission, in conjunction with the European Space Agency, announced its own plans to create a digital twin of the planet, called Destination Earth.

It hopes, by the end of 2024, to be able to obtain sufficient data from real-time observations and simulations for a digital twin focusing on floods, droughts and heat waves, along with natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis, and to provide countries with concrete plans To save lives in the face of these growing challenges.