Reports are indicating that by the year 2022, smart city solutions will be over the $130 billion mark. The idea is to make the regions convenient for the residents as well as more sustainable overall. There are a few issues that come along with the developments, just like with all new projects.
Understanding What A Smart City Is
First, there are several main factors that a city must have to be considered a smart city:
- Sustainable – the city has to be able to make services available without taking from the future
- Workability – essential services, computing, connectivity, and energy must all be included in the infrastructure for competition around the world for the highest quality work
- Livability – there can be no congestion or pollution and only healthy conditions for living; the services that are available to city’s residents must be able to be accessed from anywhere at anytime
How Are Smart Cities Growing?
Around 50% of the world’s population now lives in bigger cities. They moved to the urban areas to find work. Studies suggest that in the next decade or so, that number is going only go up. Problems that go along with the expansion of the cities include crime, traffic, and pollution. Thus, the need for smart city solutions comes into play.
Broadband and cheaply connected devices around the world seemed to be paving the way for the Internet of Thing’s sharing of billions of sensors and cameras. The more these connections have been used, the bigger they get.
Affordable computing and big data have led to the increase in artificial intelligence. AI is a code that learns how to support various daily life activities. Drones, robots, and other autonomous vehicles are all the tools used in AI along with the supporting software applications. Other AI apps that are already being utilized include:
- Disease diagnosing in the healthcare field
- Traffic control in transportation
- Facial recognition for the safety of the public
- Process control in the manufacturing hub
- Retail online
Investing in Smart City Solutions
It has been stated that education is where the beginning of a successful smart city starts. The cities that can hold up their developments are the ones that are going to stay in the front of the pack.
Chinese cities that have put investments into pollution policies and sustainability have already proven improvements in those areas.
Partnerships and focus on the infrastructure have also proven returns on investments. Advanced manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare are some of the areas that cities should pick to put a focus on and investments in to help them grow.
Who is Advancing?
Unsurprisingly, when it comes to smart city solutions, the cities that you expect are found near the top. Some of them include London, Paris, Singapore, San Francisco, and New York. Recently, six new Chinese cities were also added to that group.
Reports indicate that they were able to reach their point in success because of the initiatives they put in government, cultural, and business activities. As long as the developments are better for the citizen’s quality of life and make doing business simpler, there is more global attention and investments brought to the smart city.
What about the Challenges?
While advancements are generally seen as a positive thing, some issues are heading in the direction of these fast-growing smart cities.
- Unemployment is an issue as technology, and computerized systems start to take over the jobs that humans used to do. While other jobs will be created, there’s no way to tell when or how many are going to come out of the smart city developments.
- Unequal income is a risk as the people that are developing the smart technologies advance and those that are losing their jobs fall behind.
- Privacy is a concern as cameras are installed, and facial recognition gets more advanced. Some cities have been giving people tickets using that technology leaving the question surrounding if any place is going to be private.
- Algorithmic bias is created the more data that gets fed to AI. It is going to become necessary to get creative to prevent bias.
- Access is already there in some of these tools, but it seems as though it is going to be somewhat challenging to access them without a technical education.
- Machine ethics is a worry because the machine is going to be delivering biased information to the people in charge of making laws and policies.
- Weaponization refers to the possibility of robots that are capable of becoming weapons creating mechanical warfare.
- Humanity and the possibility for a technology addiction come into play with more computerized machines being introduced.
- Genome editing can be done on machines with recognition of tumors and editing of the genomes. It can be good, but there is still a question around who’s going to be able to do what with the technology.
- Poor AI comes into mind because with all the new things being created, something can go wrong.
There are many advantages to integrating dedicated AI processes with Smart City Technology. Metro Cities throughout the world are beginning to understand the power of smart city integration. The future looks bright.