The AI-Powered Smart City of the Future
- Published 27th Feb 2019
Last edited 27th Feb 2019
Technology is now so fundamental to our daily lives that it’s built into almost everything around us. This is true in our homes thanks to our smartphones, our laptop computers and our home assistants, but it’s also true in the wider world.
In fact, we’re surrounded by technology every time we walk down the street, from traffic lights to CCTV cameras and electronic signage. And yet despite the fact that our homes are increasingly connected, the technologies in our cities are rarely integrated into an overall network. But that’s about to change.
AI smart cities
The idea behind a smart city is that an ever-increasing array of sensors and internet-connected devices could be used to manage a city as a whole. For example, sensors could be used to track traffic patterns and to reroute vehicles to avoid congestion or to open up roads for emergency services in times of crisis.
This already happens in some cities to a certain extent, but the rise of artificial intelligence could change the game for good. Humans are fallible, and while they’re great at coming up with creative solutions, they can’t make calculations anywhere near as quickly as AI. They also can’t track as many variables as an AI-based system, which is why they’re better placed to supervise an AI-based smart city than they are to run it themselves.
The city of the future
Of course, with our public spaces becoming increasingly connected, we need to place increased emphasis on cybersecurity and the way that our data is handled. When an entire city’s infrastructure is connected together via the internet, it also becomes a tempting target for bad actors and even for cyberwarfare attacks.
But we have reason to be optimistic. In fact, used correctly, AI could help to save lives by reducing traffic accidents and even helping emergency services to determine where best to run patrols. It could help to make the city more sustainable, too. All of this adds up to mean that the smart cities of the future will be more pleasant places to live – and they’ll be safer, too.