Walid Saad joined Virginia Tech’s "Curious Conversations" to field questions about the metaverse, digital twins, and artificial intelligence’s potential impact on the environment. 

About Saad

Saad is a professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Next-G faculty lead for the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria.

Three takeaways from the conversation

  • A simple definition of the metaverse is an attempt to create a digital, virtual replication of reality. 

  • Digital twins are virtual replications of systems, such as factories, products, or people. One of the most practical applications for digital twins currently is helping limit real-world risk by providing a virtual space to test potential advances in technology.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) requires the use of data centers, which use a large amount of electricity to operate and generally do not use renewable energy sources. This results in a large and growing amount of carbon emissions. 

More on Saad

The metaverse: Where reality and virtual reality collide

Environmental impact of AI and its sustainability

6G vision: The future of wireless communications can be seen through your phone’s camera lens

About the podcast

"Curious Conversations" is a series of free-flowing conversations with Virginia Tech researchers that take place at the intersection of world-class research and everyday life. Produced and hosted by Virginia Tech writer and editor Travis Williams, university researchers share their expertise and motivations as well as the practical applications of their work in a format that more closely resembles chats at a cookout than classroom lectures. New episodes are shared each Tuesday.

If you know of an expert (or are that expert) who’d make for a great conversation, email Williams, today.

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