The next area of artifcial intelligence that will likely receive a
boost in 2018 is smart cities.
Alphabet’s announcement last November of
a partnership with the city of Toronto to develop a new waterfront
precinct is a big step forward for the roll-out of devices able to connect to
the internet of things. It is true that experiments with smart cities have not
succeeded in the past, notably, Dongtan in China and Songdo in South
Essentially, the designers found it diffcult to overlay technological
infrastructure onto urban environments that already patch together
different systems and have a messy format that no one would design if
asked to do so from scratch.
In addition, existing residents will always
have competing ideas about how the infrastructure should be
implemented and can usually halt development via local council channels.
Hence the benefit of the new precinct in Toronto. For starters, it
will be designed from the ground up rather than overlaid on top of an
existing city. Perhaps more importantly, it will be designed in conjunction
with input from many diferent parties.
This approach, along with the backing from Alphabet, will likely
ensure the drive towards smart cities,
and the things that go in them, is sustainable.
The first thing to populate smart cities will be video cameras.
While some worry about the Orwellian implications, the proliferation of
cameras appears to be inevitable. In fact, some companies believe there
will eventually be one billion video surveillance cameras in cities. It has
established a partnership with companies in Asia, such as Hikvision and
Dahua, which together own one-third of the global market share for