AI and smart cities: The future of urban development

By Jihad Tayara, CEO of EVOTEQ

It is widely accepted that artificial intelligence (AI) and smart cities are closely related. A ‘Smart City’ is an urban centre that makes use of information and communication technology to support governmental systems, promote economic development, and improve quality of life. Cities are becoming smarter as a result of their rapid progress and AI-powered analysis of the massive datasets generated by managing and maintaining these urban centres. Subsequently, it is fair to presume that smart cities and AI will together influence how society evolves in the future. 

AI and smart cities operate differently depending on whether the technology is supervised or unsupervised. In supervised learning, target values and datasets are created to train AI networks to locate solutions in the collected raw data. The AI will then perform predetermined tasks and actions while looking into new ideas and possibilities that might deliver more efficient outcomes than the current system. Unsupervised learning, on the other hand, involves training AI networks to find latent qualities and hidden patterns in the data by posing questions to them using unlabelled and unclassified datasets.

Implementing AI can result in the automation of organisational processes. This saves time and effort, while also avoiding costly errors. For instance, several firms in the construction sector have shifted to combining AI with 3D printing to reduce expenses and the time spent on building a structure. Similarly, smart cities are starting to integrate AI within their waste management systems. This type of technology allows cities to track recycling processes and identify what can be recycled within the area.

Similar AI integration is also taking place in the healthcare sector, with the aim of modernising the services provided and achieving the best clinical results quickly. This can also have a significant impact on lowering the patients' financial stress. The World Economic Forum, for example, predicts that post-treatment complications that typically require additional medical expenses could be eliminated with the full implementation of AI in the healthcare system.

With AI and smart cities, public safety is also improved as violation of laws can be prevented and lives can be saved by using the sensor and camera networks. Emergency services can use traffic signals and congestion data to get to their destinations more quickly and safely, and cities can collect data on accidents and other factors for predictive and preventative actions. Additionally, Real Time Response provides incident responders with direct access and enhanced visibility required to fully understand and manage emerging threats. The result is a dramatic reduction in the amount of time it takes to respond to attacks, as well as the chances of the attacks resulting in financial losses. This is all accomplished by utilising existing sensors and cloud infrastructure, without compromising on performance.

It is evident that, when applied and utilised appropriately, the technology can significantly raise standards of living, while substantially reducing costs in users’ favour. Aside from that, AI can also play a vital role in urban planning, development, and management, thereby promising convenience and improving living conditions.