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Digital twin initiative aims to model society of the future

NTT wants to bring together a number of disciplines including social sciences, humanities and applied science to create a digital transformation innovation platform to realise smarter societies.

The digital twin computing platform architecture
The digital twin computing platform architecture

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) has proposed the “digital twin computing initiative”, an innovation platform for digital transformation to help speed the creation of smart societies.


According to NTT, digital twin computing aims to transcend the limits of conventional ICT technology by creating a diversified cyberspace from highly precise digital information, reflecting real-world objects such as things, humans and societies.


The intention is to achieve not only extremely advanced and "profound" communication solutions, but also achieve large-scale, high-accuracy predictions and simulations of the future.


Synthesis of virtual worlds


The initiative also aims to help to solve various social problems around the world by creating innovative new services and bring about the society of the future through these synthesised virtual worlds.


NTT also sets out its vision of the future that is possible with digital twin computing:

  • Discovery and resolution of urban issues: Digital twins of cities and their citizens can be used to anonymously collect the experiences, cultures, values, desires and complaints of the citizens. These digital twins can be used to discover latent problems in cities that usually go unnoticed such as dangerous intersections and high accident rate areas, and find solutions optimised for collectives. Also, these digital twins can be used to simulate synergies with other cities and generate “sister cities” with similarities or mutually complementary and unexpected combinations leading to new collaborative relationships for building wealthier cities.
  • Simulations at earth and outer space scales: Virtual societies in cyberspace using large-scale digital twins to reproduce global-scale natural conditions (climate and reserves of resources) or social changes (populations and GDP) can be constructed to create high-accuracy prediction models for simulating and predicting the near future. Moreover, combining the digital twins of real-world cities (Tokyo and San Francisco, for instance) with outer space digital twins to produce balance simulations of the atmosphere, water, food, and energy will contribute to space development.
  • Prediction and control of diseases: To combat the outbreak of an infectious disease, virtual societies can be created in cyberspace by combining geographical and transport information with digital twins of people mapping their activity and relationship patterns to accurately make predictions of the spread of the infection. This would enable real-time active control of the outbreak by controlling the flows of transport and humans. Decisions could be made about class closures in schools or remote learning, and by enabling automatic search and reservation of the most appropriate hospitals.

NTT points out the success of the initiative will depend on “intimate cooperation” across wide-ranging fields of research and technology including social sciences, humanities, natural and applied sciences and interdisciplinary fields.


NTT Laboratories said it aims to achieve the digital twin computing Initiative by collaborating with future professionals and global partners across these wide-ranging fields of research and technology.


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