Upcoming Webinars - IEEE Digital Reality Webinar Series


  OD web button 

The Future of Digital Twins • 18 May 2021 • 1 PM ET

 web12 Portal Image2Digital Twins were defined approximately 15 years ago, and it took them about 7 years to become adopted by the manufacturing industry, first by General Electric and then several others. However, in the last five years, they have been applied in an increasing number of sectors, from building construction to healthcare, and they have evolved significantly from the original idea of being a digital mirror of an object.

Now, their evolution is accelerating both in terms of application and capabilities, extending their coverage to mirror people (from deep twins to cognitive twins). In addition, they are continuously acquiring an increasing amount of intelligence, all aspects of which are being addressed by the IEEE Digital Reality Initiative.

In this decade, we are expecting to reach a point where everything, including each of us, will be flanked by its own digital twin. The European Union has recently committed funding to create a digital twin of our planet: Destination Earth.

As they evolve, and particularly as they enter into our lives, new challenges are created by technology. Challenges that are rooted in our social lives and in our culture are coming to the forefront.

This webinar aims to share views on the ongoing Digital Twin evolution, as well as to address the societal and personal issues that are emerging.

Derrick and Roberto will dialogue on this evolving landscape that will involve everybody, so the real goal of this webinar is to stimulate a much broader discussion on a future that is knocking at our door.

Click here to register. 

Featured Speakers: Derrick DeKerchove and Roberto Saracco

derrick de kerckhove

Derrick de Kerckhove is former Director of the McLuhan Program in Culture & Technology at the University of Toronto, where he is professor emeritus at the Department of French. He subsequently joined the Faculty of Sociology of the University Federico II in Naples. Presently, scientific director of the Rome-based monthly Media Duemila, he is the author of a dozen books edited in over ten languages. He is also Research Director at the Interdisciplinary Internet Institute (IN3) at l’Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona.



 RobertoSmallRoberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.


AI Systematic Errors — Who is Responsible? • 8 July 2021 • 1 PM ET

DRI Portal ImageFormer Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren once said that “In civilized life, law floats in a sea of ethics.” Nevertheless, regarding new technologies, legal regulations often lag. Firstly, court officials agree that similarly to animals, Artificial Intelligence is not responsible for its’ own decisions and actions.

In contrast to humans, all decisions made by algorithms are systematic and based on user data, sensors, and algorithms. The question is, who is responsible for errors: the provider, the integrator, or the end-user? In most scenarios, responsibility is distributed amongst all stakeholders. Full autonomic systems (including self-driving technology) are not accepted by lawmakers, and a human supervisor is demanded as a backup.

Thanks to behavioral science, research knows that humans can be influenced and manipulated by Artificial Intelligence. This is comparable to the animal kingdom in which an alpha rules the pack, but the beta is able to manipulate the alpha.

Accountability from all sides (including creators, integrators, and users) is required to reduce systematic errors and the related effects on humans, such as falling to biases (like the over-trust of Artificial Intelligence and status pressure), leading to mission and commission error.

System-thinking, as described by W. Edwards Deming in his “System of Profound Knowledge,” can exemplify the direction – AI decision making must be transparent, audited, and understood by humans. Even more, humans need to be aware that responsibility stays with them. This means they not only have to accept accountability for decisions but must also directly create AI-based on Deming’s philosophy. For everything else, Deming concluded that “a bad system will beat a good person every time.” An increasing number of government officials are demanding the inclusion of behavioral science into acceptable corporate behavior. This can result in a greater moral responsibility amongst creators and providers of AI for their technology, in addition to a legal and sanctionable influence.

Click here to register. 

Featured Speaker: Patrick Henz
Head of Governance, Risk & Compliance US
Regional Compliance Officer Americas

Patrick Henz2

Patrick Henz started his career in the Corporate Information Office and Compliance at the end of 2007 when he was responsible for the implementation of the Siemens Anti-Corruption program in Mexico and several Central American & Caribbean countries. Together with these tasks, he gained valuable insights into global Compliance programs, with a focus on Latin America. Since 2009 in his role as Compliance Officer he is responsible for an effective Compliance program; based on identification, protection, detection, response & recovery and combined with integrity, respect, passion & sustainability. With these means, he defines Governance, Risk & Compliance as pro-active function, being perceived as guardian, expert, and facilitator. The focus is on information to ensure adequate behavior, not only of the human employee, but Artificial Intelligence included.

Furthermore, he is a member of the IEEE Digital Reality Initiative, and author of the books “Business Philosophy according to Enzo Ferrari” and “Tomorrow’s Business Ethics – Philip K. Dick vs. W. Edwards Deming”.

Upcoming Webinars:

  • 15 April 2021 — Digital Twins for Trustworthy Autonomy — Featured Speaker: Francesco Flammini
  • 18 May 2021 — The Future of Digital Twins — Featured Speakers: Roberto Saracco and Derrick DeKerchove
  • 8 July 2021 — AI Systematic Errors — Who is Responsible? — Featured Speaker: Patrick Henz


Other Webinars

Storage and Memory for Digital Reality Applications • 16 April 2021 •  PM ET

SCV WIE2 DRportal image

Creating greater immersion in VR/AR/MR applications requires more life-like content. This content should be high resolution, high dynamic range and ideally high frame rate and include volumetric video content. Storing and rendering this content requires large amounts of digital storage and memory as well as specialized processing power. Enabling this content for use at endpoints and the edge will require new memory technologies that provide high capacity, high performance and are persistent. This talk will discuss requirements for capturing, storing and using this content as well as developments in data centers, at the network edge and in endpoints that will be needed to make alternative realities, part of our reality.

Click here to register. 


Featured Speaker: Tom Coughlin

President, Coughlin Associates

Tom coughlin

Tom Coughlin, President, Coughlin Associates is a digital storage analyst and business and technology consultant. He has over 40 years in the data storage industry with engineering and senior management positions at several companies. Coughlin Associates consults, publishes books and market and technology reports (including The Media and Entertainment Storage Report and an Emerging Memory Report), and puts on digital storage-oriented events. He is a regular storage and memory contributor for and M&E organization websites. He is an IEEE Fellow, Past-President of IEEE-USA, Past Director of IEEE Region 6 and Past Chair of the Santa Clara Valley IEEE Section and is also active with SNIA and SMPTE. For more information on Tom Coughlin and his publications and activities go to


Archived Content

Interested in discovering more articles, webinars, podcasts, etc. relative to the IEEE Digital Reality Initiative? 

Click here to view a complete list of all the articles and content published on the IEEE Digital Reality Initiative web portal.