Digital Twins: Ethical and Societal Impacts

29 Sep 2021
Derrick de Kerckhove, Scientific Director, Media 2000, Patrick Henz, Head of Governance, Risk & Compliance US, and Roberto Saracco, IEEE Digital Reality Co-Chair
Video Length / Slide Count:
Time: 00:59:54
Digital Twins are becoming increasingly pervasive in the industry, and they are now being used to generate digital replicas to mirror individual human beings, their unique behaviors, their expertise, and even their emotions. This brings us into an unchartered territory where new ethical questions arise.

During this webinar, Roberto Saracco presented the latest evolutions of Digital Twin technology and applications. Saracco, Patrick Henz, and Derrick de Kerckhove, the presenters, focused on the applications of Personal Digital Twins in healthcare and for the modeling of a biological person to the modeling of the cognitive person. The former opens the application space for simulation of bio-processes, the latter the simulation and replication of cognitive processing.

The second part of the webinar explored the ethical implications arising from the creation of Personal Digital Twins, and the fading boundary between the physical and the Digital world--a world in which a Personal Digital Twin behaves as an avatar of the physical person and the Physical Space. In such a scenario, people would be perceiving a seamless continuum extended in the Digital Space, behaving in a new Digital Reality framework. This is, in a way, creating a new reality, like the one "invented" by the Surrealism artistic movement (spearheaded by Dali).

The third part of the webinar explored societal aspects of Cognitive Digital Twins, both at a perceptual level and at a society/organizational level, taking the general impact on the workplace and social interactions into consideration.