Artificial Intelligence, Digital Twins Discussed at Industry Advisory Board Virtual Spring Meeting

May 11, 2020

by ASME News

The ASME Industry Advisory Board (IAB) continued its discussion last month of digital transformation, which has been the theme of the board’s recent meetings. The meeting, held on Tuesday, April 14, featured a presentation by IAB member Curt Lefebvre, the founder and CEO of the artificial intelligence (AI) company nDimensional.

During his talk, titled “Artificial Intelligence in the Real World: Scaling the Digital Twin for Industry,” Dr. Lefebvre referenced a 2019 Gartner survey that found that 85 percent of companies with Internet of Things (IoT) projects have already implemented digital twins or will within a year. Asset-intensive industries, such as manufacturing, energy, utilities, mining and transportation, are particularly motivated to put digital twins at the center of their digital transformation efforts.

Curt Lefebvre, the founder and CEO of nDimensional, was the featured presenter at the recent Industry Advisory Board virtual meeting.
Digital twins “can bridge the gap between the potential of AI and its ability to deliver business value at scale,” Lefebvre said. “A digital twin is the result of packaging all available data, domain knowledge, models (physics-based and AI) and performance calculations about assets and processes, connecting them to real- or near-real-time data streams, and putting them to work delivering business outcomes 24/7/365. With their focus on real world use cases, digital twins deliver AI proof points with large and quantifiable business value.”

Digital twins and AI “will never reach their full potential if their creation and application rely solely on computer and data scientists,” Lefebvre continued. “Their power must also be put in the hands of domain experts who know how to extract business value. Democratized digital twin approaches that provide standardized, automated structures to capture domain expertise, add AI, and easily apply these ‘augmented intelligence’ twins to real- or near-real-time data streams are required for industrial digital transformation success. That’s why organizations like ASME, with its members’ vast engineering domain expertise and codes and standards experience, play such a critical role.”

Lefebvre’s presentation resonated with the IAB, and a robust question-and-answer session followed. Cybersecurity of digital twins was a topic of concern, as well as how digital twins can help a company’s decision-making process. Many IAB members encouraged ASME to consider its standards role.

Christine Reilley, senior director of Strategy and Innovation, and Deborah Holton, managing director of Industry Events, also briefed the IAB on ASME’s activities related to digital transformation and their earlier feedback. ASME is currently forming a Big Data Standards Committee, as well as planning for several virtual and live events, including a digital twin conference slated for November of 2020.

GE Renewable Energy originally planned to host the IAB’s spring meeting at its manufacturing facility in Pensacola, Fla. That meeting was postponed until a later date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To read a blog posting by Lefebvre on his presentation, visit www.nd.com/blog/2020/how-digital-twins-bridge-the-gap-between-ai-and-business-value. For additional information about the Industry Advisory Board virtual spring meeting or the IAB in general, please contact Melissa Carl at carlm@asme.org.

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