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The Digital Twin

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People are slowly moving on from thinking about the Internet of Things (IoT) in terms of a new way of describing machine-to-machine connectivity. As with all step-changes, new technologies are first contextualised within the existing frames of reference. Over time, the new technology enables a new wave of possibilities, which were previously impossible or hard. In turn, this creates new frames of reference.

The Digital Twin concept is one of those new possibilities enabled by IoT.

In our About page, we talk about the potential of  IoT to “transform physical industries- such as agriculture and infrastructure- by creating a digital representation capable of being sensed, analysed and controlled.” The Digital Twin concept is one way of giving structure to that digital representation.

Following Gartner’s including it in the list of Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017, there has been increased interest in the concept. Articles such as Forbes’ What Is Digital Twin Technology – And Why Is It So Important? brings it into mainstream business focus.

Definition of Digital Twin

That depends on who you ask.

One thing the Digital Twin isn’t is what the name implies. The Digital Twin is a digital representation, or many of them, rather than an exact replica of the physical object or system. It also isn’t a simulation though it can be used to generate simulations.

Personally, I like Gartner’s one for being short- “a dynamic software model of a physical thing or system.” Gartner goes on to say, “It includes the model of the physical object, data from the object, a unique one-to-one correspondence to the object and the ability to monitor the object.”

Importantly, the Digital Twin can be at different levels, such as component, product, or system. A Digital Twin can be composed of lower level Digital Twins. For example, a supply chain system or factory or smart city composed of Digital Twins of sub-systems and components.

A critical aspect of the Digital Twin is the use of various AI techniques that learns over time from multiple sources. This works together with other representations, be they statistical, finite element, physics-based, etc.

Perhaps the definition is less important than the business value Digital Twins can provide. In any case, the concept is platform dependent at this stage so it is whatever a GE or IBM or the particular vendor says it is.

A newer twist is the Cognitive Digital Twin concept that adds intelligence to the data and information of typical Digital Twins.

Uses of Digital Twins

There are several examples where the Digital Twin concept is delivering tangible benefits with the IoT angle being the generation of real-time data from physical things and systems.

Broadly, Digital Twins can provide historical data, present data, and future insights. Typically they cover the whole lifecycle, from design to production to operation to end of life. By influencing the design of the next generation of the represented product or system, they can even be thought to “evolve”. For example, NASA develops the next generation of space vehicles virtually based on the Digital Twins of previous ones before physically manufacturing it.

Some questions that a Digital Twin can answer include:

1. What happens to the roads in Wellington when a big earthquake takes out SH1?

2. How much stress to the wind turbine, and to which elements, is the current storm generating?

3. Can a particular critical component wait to be replaced and for how long?

4. Which design improves efficiency most?

5. What’s the best way to change a particular part on a machine?

6. How does customer experience change with a particular product or service modification?

 

To know more, I suggest listening to the series of podcasts (episodes 84 to 89) from Bruce Sinclair specifically looking at Digital Twins.

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p4ul
46 days ago
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Wellington, New Zealand
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millennialsargueback: poutine-existentielle: nightworldlove: guiltyfandoms: thattallnerdybean: d...

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millennialsargueback:

poutine-existentielle:

nightworldlove:

guiltyfandoms:

thattallnerdybean:

dvadad:

cashier: sorry for your wait. we’re short-staffed today

millennial: oh that’s ok no worries :)

 baby boomer:

But listen that’s the thing. 

We are short staffed almost 97% of the time at my retail job. Because corporate has figured out you can overwork 4 people at minimum wage instead of paying for the 8 people you should probably have to be on the clock.  

Baby boomers grew up with stores that were adequately staffed, with workers who most likely had weeks of training for their jobs as opposed to the 1-2 shadow shift training we get now. Also those workers most likely were able to be full time if they wanted. Now retail, except for management positions, is mostly made up of part time workers, because you don’t have to give them benefits. So you have a workforce of perpetually underpaid, overwhelmed, undertrained people trying to do their best all while dealing with an entire generation of people who refuse to acknowledge that the system has changed and the average retail worker has NO control over that change and is being taken advantage of.

Like we got our customer surveys back, and almost every single one mentioned that they couldn’t find someone to help them or we needed more people on register because it was TOO SLOW, but what did management tell us instead of scheduling more people? We need to be quicker on register and call for backup if necessary. Which makes no sense because we can’t call for backup THAT ISN’T THERE.

Y'all my parents haven’t worked retail since the 70s and they absolutely never believe me about the things that happen at work. I explain the schedule for next week gets hung up on the Friday before and they scoff and go “well when i worked at X they had it a month up your manager is just lazy.” No mom, its company policy to only do “two weeks” in advance. They won’t give you a full month’s scheduling in advance cause it let’s you plan for a world outside of work.

Or about the hours, workload or anything. They just assume its an individual’s failing instead of corporate mandate. Or, if they do believe me (that its company policy) they call it ridiculous and point out some survey that argues its Good Business to do (insert decent thing here).As if they think the higher ups don’t know this and are simply ignorant of Good Business Practices. They don’t understand that retail has completely shifted from caring about its employees to squeezing out every penny now instead of investing it for later.

Cause that isn’t how it was when they worked and they just can’t seem to see otherwise.

   I think there should be a ‘bring-your-parent-to-work-day’ instead of ‘bring-your-kid-to-work-day’, it would shock so many parents and would probably make them finally realize how much retail indeed has changed in the US.

when i first got hired as a cashier, my manager who had been doing that since she was like 17 in 1975 told me that back in The Days, when you were hired as a cashier in a grocery store it was a) a well paid job & you could get full time work easily b) a respected career choice c) the store closed at 6pm and was closed on Sundays so the hours were a lot more pleasant d) they made you go to cashier school for 2 weeks, which was basically a fake grocery store and you just learned the trade completely before even meeting a customer
now its like : you get like 20 hours a week, bullshit shifts like 3:45 to 10:15, a 20 minutes training before being thrown to the wolves, customers tell you you deserve your shitty lowlife job as soon as you don’t thoroughly kiss their ass

The millennial experience is tied to growing income inequality and the indentured servitude of student loan debt

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p4ul
108 days ago
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Wellington, New Zealand
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109 days ago
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rtreborb
108 days ago
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It's really interesting to think about the generational expectations when it comes to retail jobs
jhamill
109 days ago
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Baby Boomers continue to be blind to the bullshit world they created.
California

Michael Lewis and the parable of the lucky man taking the extra cookie

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In 2012, Michael Lewis gave a commencement speech at Princeton University, his alma mater. In the speech, Lewis, the author of Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, and The Big Short, talks about the role of luck in rationalizing success. He tells the graduates, the winners of so many of life’s lotteries, that they “owe a debt to the unlucky”. This part near the end is worth reading even if you skip the rest of it.

I now live in Berkeley, California. A few years ago, just a few blocks from my home, a pair of researchers in the Cal psychology department staged an experiment. They began by grabbing students, as lab rats. Then they broke the students into teams, segregated by sex. Three men, or three women, per team. Then they put these teams of three into a room, and arbitrarily assigned one of the three to act as leader. Then they gave them some complicated moral problem to solve: say what should be done about academic cheating, or how to regulate drinking on campus.

Exactly 30 minutes into the problem-solving the researchers interrupted each group. They entered the room bearing a plate of cookies. Four cookies. The team consisted of three people, but there were these four cookies. Every team member obviously got one cookie, but that left a fourth cookie, just sitting there. It should have been awkward. But it wasn’t. With incredible consistency the person arbitrarily appointed leader of the group grabbed the fourth cookie, and ate it. Not only ate it, but ate it with gusto: lips smacking, mouth open, drool at the corners of their mouths. In the end all that was left of the extra cookie were crumbs on the leader’s shirt.

This leader had performed no special task. He had no special virtue. He’d been chosen at random, 30 minutes earlier. His status was nothing but luck. But it still left him with the sense that the cookie should be his.

This experiment helps to explain Wall Street bonuses and CEO pay, and I’m sure lots of other human behavior. But it also is relevant to new graduates of Princeton University. In a general sort of way you have been appointed the leader of the group. Your appointment may not be entirely arbitrary. But you must sense its arbitrary aspect: you are the lucky few. Lucky in your parents, lucky in your country, lucky that a place like Princeton exists that can take in lucky people, introduce them to other lucky people, and increase their chances of becoming even luckier. Lucky that you live in the richest society the world has ever seen, in a time when no one actually expects you to sacrifice your interests to anything.

All of you have been faced with the extra cookie. All of you will be faced with many more of them. In time you will find it easy to assume that you deserve the extra cookie. For all I know, you may. But you’ll be happier, and the world will be better off, if you at least pretend that you don’t.

You can watch Lewis’ speech as delivered on YouTube:

I wonder if hearing that moved the needle for any of those grads? I suspect not…being born on third base thinking you hit a triple is as American as apple pie at this point. (via @goldman)

Tags: commencement speeches   Michael Lewis   Princeton   video
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p4ul
123 days ago
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Wellington, New Zealand
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134 days ago
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kleer001
134 days ago
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Excellent! Don't forget to help your lucky friends come to the same realization.
dmierkin
134 days ago
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well put
jheiss
136 days ago
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Well, as someone who was "born on third base" and is making decent progress on scoring a run (to keep up the analogy), I can tell you that there's at least one of us out here who is damn well aware that luck has played a significant part and does at least try to pretend that he doesn't deserve the cookie.

The Social Justice Warriors are right

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As you might know, I haven’t been exactly the world’s most consistent fan of the Social Justice movement, nor has it been the most consistent fan of me.

I cringe when I read about yet another conservative college lecture shut down by mob violence; or student protesters demanding the firing of a professor for trying gently to argue and reason with them; or an editor forced from his position for writing a (progressive) defense of “cultural appropriation”—a practice that I take to have been ubiquitous for all of recorded history, and without which there wouldn’t be any culture at all.  I cringe not only because I know that I was in the crosshairs once before and could easily be again, but also because, it seems to me, the Social Justice scalp-hunters are so astoundingly oblivious to the misdirection of their energies, to the power of their message for losing elections and neutering the progressive cause, to the massive gift their every absurdity provides to the world’s Fox Newses and Breitbarts and Trumps.

Yet there’s at least one issue where it seems to me that the Social Justice Warriors are 100% right, and their opponents 100% wrong. This is the moral imperative to take down every monument to Confederate “war heroes,” and to rename every street and school and college named after individuals whose primary contribution to the world was to defend chattel slavery.  As a now-Southerner, I have a greater personal stake here than I did before: UT Austin just recently removed its statue of Jefferson Davis, while keeping up its statue of Robert E. Lee.  My kids will likely attend what until very recently was called Robert E. Lee Elementary—this summer renamed Russell Lee Elementary.  (My suggestion, that the school be called T. D. Lee Parity Violation Elementary, was sadly never considered.)

So I was gratified that last week, New Orleans finally took down its monuments to slavers.  Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s speech, setting out the reasons for the removal, is worth reading.

I used to have little patience for “merely symbolic” issues: would that offensive statues and flags were the worst problems!  But it now seems to me that the fight over Confederate symbols is just a thinly-veiled proxy for the biggest moral question that’s faced the United States through its history, and also the most urgent question facing it in 2017.  Namely: Did the Union actually win the Civil War? Were the anti-Enlightenment forces—the slavers, the worshippers of blood and land and race and hierarchy—truly defeated? Do those forces acknowledge the finality and the rightness of their defeat?

For those who say that, sure, slavery was bad and all, but we need to keep statues to slavers up so as not to “erase history,” we need only change the example. Would we similarly defend statues of Hitler, Himmler, and Goebbels, looming over Berlin in heroic poses?  Yes, let Germans reflect somberly and often on this aspect of their heritage—but not by hoisting a swastika over City Hall.

For those who say the Civil War wasn’t “really” about slavery, I reply: this is the canonical example of a “Mount Stupid” belief, the sort of thing you can say only if you’ve learned enough to be wrong but not enough to be unwrong.  In 1861, the Confederate ringleaders themselves loudly proclaimed to future generations that, indeed, their desire to preserve slavery was their overriding reason to secede. Here’s CSA Vice-President Alexander Stephens, in his famous Cornerstone Speech:

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

Here’s Texas’ Declaration of Secession:

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable. That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.

It was only when defeat looked inevitable that the slavers started changing their story, claiming that their real grievance was never about slavery per se, but only “states’ rights” (states’ right to do what, exactly?). So again, why should take the slavers’ rationalizations any more seriously than we take the postwar epiphanies of jailed Nazis that actually, they’d never felt any personal animus toward Jews, that the Final Solution was just the world’s biggest bureaucratic mishap?  Of course there’s a difference: when the Allies occupied Germany, they insisted on thorough de-Nazification.  They didn’t suffer streets to be named after Hitler. And today, incredibly, fascism and white nationalism are greater threats here in the US than they are in Germany.  One reads about the historic irony of some American Jews, who are eligible for German citizenship because of grandparents expelled from there, now seeking to move there because they’re terrified about Trump.

By contrast, after a brief Reconstruction, the United States lost its will to continue de-Confederatizing the South.  The leaders were left free to write book after book whitewashing their cause, even to hold political office again.  And probably not by coincidence, we then got nearly a hundred years of Jim Crow—and still today, a half-century after the civil rights movement, southern governors and legislatures that do everything in their power to disenfranchise black voters.

For those who ask: but wasn’t Robert E. Lee a great general who was admired by millions? Didn’t he fight bravely for a cause he believed in?  Maybe it’s just me, but I’m allergic to granting undue respect to history’s villains just because they managed to amass power and get others to go along with them.  I remember reading once in some magazine that, yes, Genghis Khan might have raped thousands and murdered millions, but since DNA tests suggest that ~1% of humanity is now descended from him, we should also celebrate Khan’s positive contribution to “peopling the world.” Likewise, Hegel and Marx and Freud and Heidegger might have been wrong in nearly everything they said, sometimes with horrific consequences, but their ideas still need to be studied reverently, because of the number of other intellectuals who took them seriously.  As I reject those special pleas, so I reject the analogous ones for Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, and Robert E. Lee, who as far as I can tell, should all (along with the rest of the Confederate leadership) have been sentenced for treason.

This has nothing to do with judging the past by standards of the present. By all means, build statues to Washington and Jefferson even though they held slaves, to Lincoln even though he called blacks inferior even while he freed them, to Churchill even though he fought the independence of India.  But don’t look for moral complexity where there isn’t any.  Don’t celebrate people who were terrible even for their own time, whose public life was devoted entirely to what we now know to be evil.

And if, after the last Confederate general comes down, the public spaces are too empty, fill them with monuments to Alan Turing, Marian Rejewski, Bertrand Russell, Hypatia of Alexandria, Emmy Noether, Lise Meitner, Mark Twain, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Frederick Douglass, Vasili Arkhipov, Stanislav Petrov, Raoul Wallenberg, even the inventors of saltwater taffy or Gatorade or the intermittent windshield wiper.  There are, I think, enough people who added value to the world to fill every city square and street sign.

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p4ul
144 days ago
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145 days ago
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skorgu
145 days ago
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GOP Delenda Est.

Health Check: does caffeine cause dehydration?

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By Ben Desbrow, Griffith University For a long time people have been told that caffeine is a diuretic. For some, this translates into advice to avoid or remove caffeinated beverages from the diet of people at risk of dehydration, or during periods of extreme summer heat. While possibly well meaning, this advice is wrong. By […] The post Health Check: does caffeine cause dehydration? appeared first on Sciblogs.

[Click on the headline above for the full story]
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p4ul
179 days ago
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Existential Bug Reports

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ISSUE: If we wait long enough, the Earth will eventually be consumed by the Sun. WORKAROUND: None.
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p4ul
180 days ago
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Wellington, New Zealand
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193 days ago
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GuuZ
187 days ago
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:)
alt_text_bot
195 days ago
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ISSUE: If we wait long enough, the Earth will eventually be consumed by the Sun. WORKAROUND: None.
Andi_Mohr
195 days ago
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Re: alt text. There's a workaround. Ask Wesley Crusher some time.
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