Over the past few months, the US National Academies has launched a study of so-called “digital twins” and their applications in a wide variety of fields; they seem to be particularly interested not just in applications, but in the fundamental science that underlies digital twinning technology.
The basic idea of digital twins is that one comes up with a very detailed digital model of a well-instrumented physical system (think of a jet engine, or a factory production line, or even an organization, or a city); you feed telemetry from the physical system into the digital model, and then the digital model simulates the physical system and makes predictions, which can be checked against and used to help manage the physical system. These are gaining interest around the world in a very wide range of contexts.
For information on the National Academies study, see
which includes pointers to recordings of three symposia held in January-February 2023 covering Biomedical Sciences; Atmospheric, Climate and Sustainability Sciences; and Engineering (all of which are very interesting viewing). The National Academies also held a separate symposium (under the auspices of the Intelligence Communities Studies Board) covering Digital Twinning and National Security; information on this session and a link to the recording are here:
The National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) have also been doing work in this area; see for example:
(this also includes a helpful high level view of digital twins technology).
Finally, note that in the United Kingdom, the Turing Institute has also launched a significant program in this area. See