What challenges will these pose to data privacy, transparency of algorithms, accountability, and ownership?
Who decides what a digital models should and should not do, and to whom are developers accountable?
How can we empower citizens and other stakeholders in their design and use?
In a complex, changing and interconnected world, digital twins and avatars are set to become a norm for decision-making in policy, ecology and the economy. Currently, several initiatives plan digital avatars and digital twins on the scale of individuals (in precision medicine), local municipalities (digital urban twins for city management) and the planet (climate forecasting, epidemic control). Sensor webs enable real-time synchronization of such twins and avatars with the physical world. Building trust between the science and diplomacy communities in this area is urgently needed.
“The use of “digital twins” and avatars raises questions about data privacy, algorithms, accountability and ownership, which is where GESDA might be able to help. ”
“Digital models collect huge quantities of data that call for government and corporate responsibility and greater transparency through good practices and international standards. ”
“The principle of building trust is important because the question in building the best solutions is: “Best for whom?” Since we don’t know the systemic effects of these interventions, it’s something that GESDA, the United Nations and other institutions need to work on. ”
“Digital models can improve the prediction and management of risk and thereby help vulnerable countries and communities build resilience. However, top-down solutions and decisions have failed to produce tangible results in vulnerable areas of the Global South. ”
“Before these digital tools for decision-making gain widespread use, experts say, new approaches will be needed for advancing and governing digital models, managing risks, developing ethics-based standards and avoiding dual use. ”