BERLIN - By 2030, the urban population will increase by 1.5 billion people (UN 2018),「1」 while by 2050 68 percent of the world’s population is projected to live in cities. Significant urban growth trends pose great challenges to a city’s infrastructure, resources, healthcare and employment, and so finding solutions to ensure more sustainable cities is thus crucial.
Several technologies have been deemed highly promising in tackling the conundrum of more sustainable cities. These include fifth-generation wireless networks (5G), three-dimensional printing, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), along with Big Data. Of these, AI is deemed the most disruptive, not only in terms of technologies, but also society, politics, economics and human existence. This is because of its autonomous nature that allows it to operate in both physical and non-physical environments.
Smart city technologies are being actively implemented in Europe, supported by the European Commission, local authorities, and the private sector. And the disruptive capabilities of smart city technologies have sparked several debates and initiatives over the last couple of years surrounding its ethics, regulations, policy, and governance.
As promising as AI is, companies face monumental challenges in bringing operational applications to life. Furthermore, ethical and governance frameworks are underdeveloped, and research is still in its infancy. Case studies「2」 in four European cities - Amsterdam, Helsinki, Copenhagen and Hamburg - demonstrate that the quality and availability of data is the most challenging factor. Additionally, a report「3」 on AI use in public services, produced by AI Watch under the European Commission that studied all 27 European Countries, the UK, Switzerland and Norway in 230 case studies found an “imbalance between the transformative potential” and the effectiveThe content herein is subject to copyright by The Yuan. All rights reserved. The content of the services is owned or licensed to The Yuan. Such content from The Yuan may be shared and reprinted but must clearly identify The Yuan as its original source. Content from a third-party copyright holder identified in the copyright notice contained in such third party’s content appearing in The Yuan must likewise be clearly labeled as such.