Digital Twins are a reality in the manufacturing world and are now being applied in a variety of other areas, including healthcare, smart cities, retail, infrastructures and plants virtualisation. They are now mostly used at stage III, mirroring and interacting in real time with their physical entity. A few example of usage at stage IV and V are also available and more and more can be expected in the coming years with a few examples of Digital Twins at stage VI by the end of this decade (fully autonomous, interacting among themselves and creating offsprings).

A crucial evolution expected in the coming years is the one of digital twins mirroring, flanking and acting on behalf of a person: Personal Digital Twins. Here again we are seeing the first examples in Healthcare and a growing interest for application in the education and knowledge management area: Cognitive Digital Twins.

The talk will address the various aspects of evolution and the implication on the way we work and we live.


Roberto 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 teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento and serves as Senior Advisor of the Reply Group.

He is a senior member of IEEE where he co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative fostering the Digital Transformation. He is a COMSOC Distinguished Lecturer and he is Chair of the New Initiative Committee.

He has published over 200 papers in journals and magazines and 30 books/ebooks.

He writes a daily blog,  https://cmte.ieee.org/futuredirections/category/blog/,  with commentary on innovation in various technology and market areas.