06 Oct 2023
by Dr Christina Yan Zhang

Quantum, AI and Brain Computer Interface Powered Digital Twin Applications for the Future

Guest blog by Dr Christina Yan Zhang, CEO, The Metaverse Institute

A digital twin is a digital representation of  a real-world physical product, system, or process that serves as the effectively indistinguishable digital counterpart of it for practical purposes, such as simulation, integration, testing, monitoring, and maintenance.

In 1970, APPOLO 13 triggered the needs to have a kind of "digital replica". Since then, digital Twin has found its applications in fields such as advanced manufacturing, Product Lifecycle Management, aerospace, healthcare and smart cities.

Generative AI to fast-tract Digital Twins development

The future of digital twins has many interesting possible applications. Generative AI can mass produce the building blocks of digital twins, including high resolution avatars, 3D objects, 3D environments etc. The advances in AI have made the development of digital twins easier, cheaper and faster. There are many successful cases.

  • Rolls-Royce is using generative AI to create digital twins of its jet engines. These digital twins are used to predict the performance of the engines and to identify potential problems before they cause failures.
  • Siemens is using generative AI to create digital twins of factories. These digital twins are used to optimize the production process and to improve the efficiency of factories.
  • GE Healthcare is using generative AI to create digital twins of patients. These digital twins are used to personalize treatment plans and to improve the quality of care for patients.
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Quantum Digital Twins

A quantum digital twin (QDT) is a digital twin that leverages the power of quantum computing to simulate complex system. A quantum digital twin can offer advantages such as faster simulation, higher accuracy, and greater scalability than a classical digital twin.

QDTs are still under development, but they have the potential to revolutionize many industries.

Bosch is leading the way in the development of quantum digital twins. In 2022, Bosch partnered with Multiverse Computing, a Spanish quantum software platform, to integrate quantum algorithms into digital twin simulation including:

  • Manufacturing: Bosch is using quantum digital twins to simulate the performance of individual machines and production processes. This information is then used to identify areas where improvements can be made.
  • Building technology: Bosch is using quantum digital twins to simulate the energy performance of buildings. This information is then used to design buildings that are more energy-efficient and to develop strategies for reducing energy consumption.
  • Healthcare: Bosch is using quantum digital twins to develop new drugs and treatments for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's. For example, Bosch is using quantum digital twins to simulate the behavior of proteins and other molecules involved in these diseases. This information is then used to develop new drugs that are more effective and have fewer side effects.

Quantum digital twins are in early stages and face many challenges such as the availability and reliability of quantum computers, the interoperability and standardization of data formats, and the ethical and social implications of creating virtual copies of physical systems.

Bosch believes that quantum digital twins have the potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries and to improve the lives of people around the world.

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Brain Computer Interface to become the ultimate interface for Digital Twins?

A brain–computer interface (BCI) is a direct communication pathway between the brain's electrical activity and an external device. Based on how close electrodes get to brain tissue, BCI can be put into three types:

  • Invasive BCIs are implanted directly into the brain. They provide the highest quality signal, but they are also the most risky and invasive type of BCI. Invasive BCIs are typically used for research purposes or to help people with severe paralysis.
  • Non-invasive BCIs are worn outside of the body. They are less invasive than invasive BCIs, but they also provide a lower quality signal. Non-invasive BCIs are the most common type of BCI and are used in a variety of applications, including gaming, entertainment, and rehabilitation.
  • Partially invasive BCIs are implanted under the scalp but not directly into the brain. They provide a better quality signal than non-invasive BCIs but are less invasive than invasive BCIs. Partially invasive BCIs are still under development, but they have the potential to be a good middle ground between invasive and non-invasive BCIs.

BCIs have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with computers and the world around us. By using our brains to control computers directly, we could bypass the need for traditional input devices such as VR, AR headsets, haptics etc. This would allow us to interact with computers in a more natural and immersive way. 

The most ambitious champion of BCI is Elon Musk’s Neuralink. Their vision is to create a symbiosis between humans and machines, where humans can access and share information with each other and with AI at unprecedented speeds and levels. Musk is currently recruiting the first human volunteer for the brain implant.

Many people do not like the idea to have computer chips in their brains. In July 2023, the less intrusive SprialE brain-computer interface (BCI) was invented. It is a device that can connect to the brain via the ear canal. It was developed by a team from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Unlike other BCIs that require surgery, the SprialE BCI is designed to be comfortable, safe, and easy to use. The research was published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

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In the future, for tasks which are too dangerous, expensive or inaccessible in the physical world, we can experience that in 3D digital twins. The digital twins will provide us with new and innovative ways to work, learn, play, and socialise and therefore make our lives better and more fulfilling.

We recently developed the world’s first people centred metaverse strategy Tampere Metaverse Vision 2040, in collaboration with the City of Tampere, Finland where we outline our vision of how digital twin, AI, BCI, quantum related technologies will help to build future world where the well-being of people are prioritised. You can find the full report here. 

Tampere Metaverse Vision 2040


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Dr Christina Yan Zhang

Dr Christina Yan Zhang

CEO, The Metaverse Institute

Dr. Christina Yan Zhang | LinkedIn