What is the ontological meaning of digital twin and how it came into existence

Key points

    The ontological parts of digital twin

    Digital twinning from an ontological perspective

    The possibility of consciousness in digital twin

By Carlos Miskinis
Digital twin research expert
Apr 2018

The main concept or premise of the digital twin is not new.


The concept of creating digital simulations can be traced as far as 1947 when the first simulation was ever created by Thomas T. Goldsmith. As time went by, the ability to digitize processes and objects proved itself to be incredibly useful, thus the concept of virtual Twin was born. It gained popularity and recognition after being utilized in virtually all aspects of the business from product simulation creation, to fulfillment process refinement and system for product shipping optimization.



what is the reality of a simulation 


What are the ontological parts of a digital twin?


In order to answer the question of what this technology requires to exist or what are the Ontological parts that bring it into existence, we need to first comprehend that it is purely based on a digital simulation. This means, that the ontological concept of this idea exists in a virtual world and not the physical one. However, this does not mean that it is not really just because it is intangible. It still requires a set of rules, reasons, and parts than construct this concept in order for it to become real. The most important parts that digital twin technology needs to exist is:


  • A physical twin it can draw the structure and building elements from


  • Digital field or a digital simulation that can project the structure it adopted


Keeping these two essential elements above in mind, we can see that although simulations do not exist as tangible physical objects, they must have a physical twin that is rooted in reality for this concept to come into fruition or else the digital replica of an object rooted in reality will become nothing more other than a digital object that has no connection with the real world, if the basis of its existence (the physical twin) is removed from the equation.

Part 2

Exploring the idea of consciousness and the sense of reality in digital twin

Comparing the realms of simulation and reality from the perspective of digital twin

Is a digital twin more real than its physical twin from an ontological perspective?


When it comes to accurately determine whether a virtual twin of a physical object, process or system is more real than the physical twin itself, it all boils down to one question which is: Is a simulation that is based on reality more real than reality itself? This is the biggest question we will be working on in our history of digital twin workshop later this year.


the concept of simulations and their relation to reality



In order to give an accurate answer to this, we have brainstormed with our team here at Challenge Advisory because we need to think from a foundational perspective first. If everything that we as conscious beings experience in the consciousness field is categorized as real, then a simulation is just as real as the reality itself because we do experience simulations when we are immersed in a video game, movie, VR etc. If, however, only things that we can interact with fully (e.g. touch, see and smell)using our human senses are real, then a simulation is not a reality, but a fabricated concept. In both scenarios the concept of simulation is real to some extent, but not in its entirety, therefore, the answer is that digital twin is not more real than its physical twin because we are locked out of fully interacting with it as conscious beings.


Want to find out more about the history and the beginnings of virtual twin? Get the opportunity to network with the world’s largest industry leaders who specialize in using this technology for their companies below:


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