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Mirror Earth: Simulating Our Future

A Virtual Intelligence Session
Thursday, May 27, 2021
2:30-4:30pm PT / 5:30-7:30pm ET

Join Strategic News Service and Larry Smarr, UC San Diego Calit2 Founding Director Emeritus, for a conversation on how creating a digital twin of Earth and all its systems could transform our ability to respond to global challenges.

“My career has involved me in many of these developing mirror worlds,” he writes. “I will talk about a number of examples: our universe becoming a digital 4D movie; the Industrial Internet, which couples models to data streams coming from embedded sensors in manufactured devices (including the Tesla car fleet); Earth systems modeling (including climate coupled to the global energy infrastructure); wildfire detection and prediction; and, finally, the emergence of personalized predictive models for our own bodies.”

As sensors become ubiquitous throughout the world, an increasing range of data-driven digital models of the physical world are emerging – from astrophysics to environmental sciences to engineering to medicine. Yale University Computer Science professor David Gelernter published a general theory of this trend 30 years ago in his 1992 book Mirror Worlds – The Day Software Puts the World in a Shoebox. As Gelernter says, “Mirror Worlds are software models of some chunk of reality…. Oceans of information pour endlessly into the model…. So much information that the model can mimic the reality’s every move, moment-by-moment.”

My career has involved me in many of these developing mirror worlds. [At FiReSide] I will talk about a number of examples: our universe becoming a digital 4-D movie; the Industrial Internet, which couples models to data streams coming from embedded sensors in manufactured devices (including the Tesla car fleet); Earth systems modeling (including climate coupled to the global energy infrastructure); wildfire detection and prediction; and, finally, the emergence of personalized predictive models for our own bodies.

A decade ago, I predicted in a New York Times op-ed: “Conceivably, the coupling of the sensor and human streams with planetary computing power will make it possible to create ‘social forecasts.’ For good or evil, it seems inevitable that individuals, corporations, political leaders, and intelligence agencies will come to use planetary computer models of social behavior to inject content into the global attention stream at just the right moment, hoping to steer the social dynamics to a desired outcome.” I didn’t realize then how commonplace this would become in 2021.

Each of our FiReSide monthly virtual intelligence sessions features two interactive centerpiece interviews. FiReSide events are designed to give you the opportunity to connect with everyone in the room. In addition to providing plenty of Q&A time for each interview, these centerpiece conversations close with two rounds of small-group discussions with speakers and attendees focused on the topics at hand, and extra full-group social time for those who wish to linger.

Creating a Mirror Version of Earth | Larry Smarr, PhD; Founding Director Emeritus, California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology & Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, Jacobs School of Engineering, UC San Diego

Dr. Larry Smarr is a University of California San Diego Distinguished Professor Emeritus in UCSD’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering. For the last 20 years he served as the Founding Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). He was earlier the Founding Director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. In 2006, he received the IEEE Computer Society Tsutomu Kanai Award for his lifetime achievements in distributed computing. Smarr has served on top-level advisory committees to the NIH, NASA, the NSF, and the DOE.

 

Register for FiReSide

 


It’s hard to replace in-person connections, but we come pretty close. As part of this evening, you’ll have a chance to ask both of our centerpiece speakers your own questions. We’ll also hold two smaller virtual networking sessions for all speakers and attendees so you can connect with everyone in your room.

Spread the love. To show our appreciation for your continued support of Strategic News Service, your ticket to FiReSide includes a six-month gift subscription for a friend or colleague to the Strategic News Service Global Report (a $300 value), the most accurate source for what to expect in the next 3-5 years in technology and the global economy. You’ll receive a link to sign up your friend once you’ve registered. Please note: Gift subscriptions can only be redeemed by those who are not past or current SNS members.

 

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FiReSide Alliance Partners