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Issue Theme: 'Towards Symbiotic Autonomous Systems'
Compiled and edited by Okyay Kaynak, Wei He, Francesco Flammini and Zhijie Li
Starting in the second half of the last century, the widespread use of computers significantly changed the lifestyle of humankind. Since then, with the explosive and perhaps disruptive developments in digital technology, the internet, and IoT, and artificial intelligence have promoted a growing interaction among humans and machines, with technology capable of extending human capabilities (augmentation) and making devices seamlessly interact with humans. In the longer term, there is a growing consensus that this will create symbiotic autonomous systems (SASs). Although this is a trend that will see maturity possibly in the next decade, research and industry interest are already strong, resulting in several concrete results ready to hit the market. What matters most in the context of SAS is the varying degrees of autonomy they have, their capability to evolve (e.g., to learn and adapt), and their ability to interact with their environment, between themselves, and with humans.
Click here to access The Royal Society, Volume 379 Issue 2207
IEEE Digital Reality - November 2020
By IEEE Digital Reality Initiative Working Group
The FDC Initiative on Digital Reality felt there is a need to look at the Digital Transformation from the point of view of a profound change that is pervading the entire society—a change made possible by technology and that keeps changing due to technology evolution opening new possibilities but is also a change happening because it has strong economic reasons. The direction of this change is not easy to predict because it is steered by a cultural evolution of society, an evolution that is happening in niches and that may expand rapidly to larger constituencies and as rapidly may fade away. This creation, selection by experimentation, adoption, and sudden disappearance is what makes the whole scenario so unpredictable and continuously changing.
IEEE has made the progress of “technology to benefit humanity” its banner. It is just appropriate to use the tremendous capital of knowledge and skills of its volunteers to look at Digital Transformation from this point of view.
Access the white paper (PDF, 8.77 MB)
By Roberto Saracco with Juuso Autiosalo, Derrick de Kerckhove, Francesco Flammini, and Louis Nisiotis
Since the shift from nomadic life, to aggregation in clusters or cities, humanity has faced epidemics. It is the cluster of people that provides the fertile environment for viruses to jump from one host to the next, generating an epidemic. The geographical distance among clusters is a barrier to the spread of the epidemics; traveling from one locale to another was the only way to continue the spread. In the past, the epidemics spread along the commerce, maritime, and land pathways. Travel was slow and sporadic so an epidemic took years to become a pandemic.
Today we have both bigger clusters (megacities and cities that on average are much bigger than the ones of the past) and much faster and denser traffic among clusters. This fuels both epidemics and pandemics.
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By Roberto Saracco, Co-chair, IEEE Digital Reality Initiative
Healthcare costs are on the rise, and this is causing an increased interest in automation. However, it should be noted that in a few health care areas automation is sought to deliver better quality, like in pharmaceuticals or assistive automation in surgery which enables procedures that go beyond human abilities (micro surgeries among others). In surgery, there is a growing digital transformation, with diagnostic procedures generating data that are analyzed automatically, creating a model that is used for simulating procedures and eventually used by autonomous or semi-autonomous systems in surgery.
Access the white paper (PDF, 2 MB)
Digital Transformation and Disruption
Digital transformation is the phenomenon of integrating digital technology into every aspect of a business, organization, or public administration, and it is happening rapidly. Digital transformation is moving the world from the physical (a world of atoms) to the digital (a world of bits). Digitalization is happening in almost every field, and businesses born out of new technologies have a competitive advantage. But for organizations with a pre-existing business model, disruption from digitalization can cause a significant loss of value.
However, trying to combat digital transformation is not the solution. Digital transformation is inevitable. It is a global phenomenon, happening at different speeds in different geographical areas and across industries. Consumers and organizations must either be a part of it or risk getting left behind.
The shift from the economy of atoms to the economy of bits is disrupting many organizations. This economic growth comes with a set of advantages and disadvantages that all involved parties need to be aware of. Understanding economic scarcity versus abundance in digital transformation will help business leaders, engineers, and other stakeholders unlock new innovation possibilities.
Industries and institutions are interested in transformation not only for technological advancement but also for digitalization’s economic impact. The economy of scarcity and the economy of abundance are important concepts when discussing this transformation.
On October 20th, 2022, Roberto Saracco, IEEE Digital Reality co-chair, gave a talk at a Panama conference on the topic of using/exploiting Digital Twins to support and leverage the Digital Transformation. Roberto explains what the Digital Transformation is, what it means, and how the physical space is moving into cyberspace.
Digital Transformation touches every industry, and Digital Twins are already widely used in the Manufacturing industry. They are starting to be used in several other areas including healthcare, construction, infrastructure operation, smart cities … A few are also starting to consider using them to mirror people--Human Digital Twins.
The purpose of the International Network Generations Roadmap (INGR) is to stimulate an industry-wide dialogue to address the many facets and challenges of the development and deployment of 5G in a well-coordinated and comprehensive manner, while also looking beyond 5G. Future network technologies (5G, 6G, etc.) are expected to enable fundamentally new applications that will transform the way humanity lives, works, and engages with its environment. INGR, created by experts across industry, government and academia, is designed to help guide operators, regulators, manufacturers, researchers, and other interested parties involved in developing these new communication technology ecosystems by laying out a technology roadmap with 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year horizons.
Digital Transformation - Blog series by Roberto Saracco
In this blog series, Roberto Saracco examines the Digital Transformation and its overarching impacts. The shift from the economy of atoms (scarcity) to the economy of bits (abundance) is leading to major disruptions across many industries. Two IEEE Future Directions initiatives have been working on crucial components of the Digital Transformation, Digital Reality (AR and VR) and Symbiotic Autonomous Systems (Digital Twins).
Check out the first episode in our IEEE Digital Reality Podcast Series. Our first guest, Conor Russomanno, Director of Advanced Interfaces at Meta and co-founder and CEO of OpenBCI, shared his views on the future of AR and VR, brain computer interfacing, key challenges, and more!