Meet the city that is controlled by artificial intelligence


Artificial intelligence is a real thing and will have much more of a stake in our society in the future. Many people see the term artificial intelligence, and they immediately think of the armageddon-wielding Skynet from the Terminator movies! And, yes, this is the fear of what the future holds, and an extreme version of what might one day happen if machines and computers become too powerful.

But, let’s imagine for a moment that AI isn’t actually all that bad of an idea! Well, you might be interested to know that it’s not, and the reason why can be summed up in two words – Smart Cities. The future of the world is going to be defined by technology, and we’re already moving toward that avenue, to be honest. So, let’s look at how artificial intelligence is a good thing.

What is a Smart City?

The concept of a Smart City is actually not too dissimilar to a smartphone, or other types of smart technology. Simply put, it is a city that contains infrastructure interlinked by software. Now, it’s important to note that this is hardly a new idea. In fact, it’s something that has been around for a while, but it is only recently being a realized concept. Imagine living in a place where programs and data could help to improve your daily life. It would be like living in a futuristic sci-fi metropolis, right?! Well, now you can…

The City

Who else but the Chinese, right? Back in 2016, the Chinese government announced that they were going to be partnering with e-commerce group Alibaba, and tech group Foxconn to work on engineering the very first Smart City. It was going to be integrated into the city of Hangzhou, home to more than 9 million people. The project was labeled the City Brain Project, and it would be run by artificial intelligence, using data and programs to help make the city a better place to live.

How does it work?

Much like some of the science fiction movies we’ve seen over the past few decades, all the citizens are tracked, and every move they make in their lives is uploaded to the city’s AI. That means social media activity, online purchases, commutes, and general movements were wall recorded and analyzed by the AI. Now, this might seem pretty terrifying, and a little bit like Big Brother, and all that type of thing. But, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Positives

As we mentioned before, there are actually quite a few positives linked to Smart Cities. They might seem like a scary concept, and it certainly might be the case that you have less privacy this way, but there are plenty of positives too. The AI, for instance, can work out the amount of water needed for the city, as well as being able to work out the size of crowds, the flow of traffic, accidents, and can notify residents of all these important things via their smartphones.

As you can see, the concept of Smart Cities has come a long way from simply the idea stage. There are so many different benefits to a Smart City, and they can actually improve the lives of all residents, as well as being much easier to govern. Hopefully, we will find a time when most of the big cities in the world become smart, and this will change the world for the better.