Fujitsu Converging Technologies

Social policy development is on the edge of a digital revolution

Fujitsu is helping to shape the future with innovative social digital twin technology

Predicting the outcomes of social policy change is hugely difficult.

We can make assumptions about policy inputs and how people react to them, but the variables have been too dense for anything other than coarse-grain approximations. Local governments and smart city initiatives struggle with decision-making due to difficulty in forecasting the future, especially with several moving parts, including human behavior.

With crucial changes needed in areas like carbon emission reduction,, we need better models to plan and test policy initiatives, with the option of the digital rehearsal of people and society.
Fujitsu is pioneering the convergence of digital technologies with insights from the humanities to help solve these social issues in a borderless physical and digital world.

Fujitsu is enabling “Social Digital Twins”

To predict outcomes from interventions in complex social policy issues, such as global heating and natural disasters, it is necessary to understand the behavior of people.

Fujitsu is today building on existing technological developments with digital twins – digital models, usually of smaller, self-contained entities such as factories. We are broadening the ambition of these twins to embrace cities, regions, and even societies by applying knowledge from the humanities. We are constructing Social Digital Twins (SDTs) that combine the effects of people and the environment.

SDTs reproduce real environments in digital space by sensing the real world and adding behavioral insights. To do this, we are leveraging large amounts of data that are increasingly available because of digitalization.

For instance, we have partnered with Hexagon, a global leader in digital reality solutions, to deliver a platform for Stuttgart, Germany, supporting the city’s urban digital twin project. Stuttgart’s civil engineering office will use the SaaS solution to visualize and analyze data from IoT sensors across the city to promote sustainability and enhance the quality of life for 600,000 residents.

Building the tools needed for Social Digital Twins

To drive these capabilities forward, Fujitsu is creating the essential building blocks for future SDTs via advances in Fujitsu AI, such as Fujitsu Actlyzer. This senses people's behaviors and facial expressions, relationships between people and other human beings, objects, and the surrounding environment. It can predict the next action by estimating the psychological condition of a person, using human-related digital information obtained from human sensing and context sensing. Actlyzer is already used in sales and marketing contexts, for example, to plan the optimum location of products in retail stores.

Another advance, Fujitsu Greenages, uses AI-based image analysis technology to automatically extract human information from vast volumes of video data, using cameras installed in our cities. Items are detected and counted, and identification "classes" and specific individuals can be identified. This makes it suitable for all kinds of urban planning and other scenarios, including security and creating new customer experiences in retail stores and facilities.

And, underpinning tools like Actlyzer and Greenages, Fujitsu has developed Dracena, a platform that creates cloud-based digital twins of people, things, and contexts and processes large amounts of stream data in real-time. Dracena can develop and deploy services speedily and flexibly while allowing additions or changes to be made without shutting down the system.

Apart from enhancing these building blocks, a crucial next step that Fujitsu is focused on, is the integration of discoveries about human behavior from the field of humanities.

The extraordinary future of Social Digital Twin Technology

Fujitsu is collaborating with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in the USA on several research projects focused on developing Social Digital Twin technology. The emphasis is on exploring practical applications for their joint research and technology in global communities.

One project is leveraging real-world data, including input of traffic regulations and the movement of vehicles. This means we can evaluate the effectiveness of measures designed to dynamically estimate and control traffic flow. Another is extending current capabilities in 3D modeling of pedestrians and forecasting their behavior over time in urban environments. This can be used to monitor street activity and determine where issues or accidents occur.

In Japan, Fujitsu and the City of Kawasaki are working with the latest computing and next-generation network technologies to implement an SDT that digitally reproduces information in real-time related to the economy, society, and the environment. This will play a key role in the partners’ efforts to contribute to the fulfillment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Also, the partners are establishing a citizen-participation living lab to connect citizens and businesses to realize its vision for a sustainable “future city”.

Society is just beginning to realize the potential gains from converging technologies like digital twins with insights from behavioral science. Fujitsu is investing decisively in these areas to create the tools and models that will shape the future of social planning.