In conjunction with machine learning, AI has the potential to help formulate effective smart city programs. Machine learning (ML) allows city authorities to process massive amounts of data from different sources and systems in real-time and automated to enable the delivery of services. With the volumes of data expected to grow significantly in the coming years, local governments and other agencies will require a good AI platform to leverage opportunities from large datasets in almost every aspect of city life. According to Gartner, AI is expected to become a crucial feature of about 30% of smart city applications by 2020. This is an increase from just 5% in the previous years.
With the advances in AI, this technology will play a critical role in enabling the local authorities to deliver personalized user experiences. Local authorities will create a personalized connection for residents by adapting to their specific needs and requirements. With the right data at hand and big data analytics, city authorities will use feedback from citizens to develop policies and initiatives that address the needs of city dwellers. For instance, they can use chatbots to respond to questions asked by the residents. This will substantially reduce the number of phone calls that residents make. Fewer calls mean that the government offices will use more resources on other projects instead of building a large call center. It will also reduce the costs of operating government offices.
Climate change is an existential threat to urban communities as it is to the rural area. Regardless of the size of a city, climate-related issues could cause life-threatening problems that can affect the survival of city dwellers. AI can help prepare for the impacts of devastating emergencies such as flooding, hurricanes, and earthquakes. With the changing climate patterns, we expect to see sustained threats to human lives. Effective AI-based communication systems will help manage these new climatic realities and save human life.
Artificial intelligence can be used to remove bias and inequality in the running of city operations. With the right data, big data analytics, and machine learning algorithms, officials can identify the rising income and wealth inequalities and invest resources in specific areas. Although economic projections in cities may suggest long-term growth, bias in sharing revenue and other critical resources can be underlying problems to many city dwellers. Issues such as systemic bias in payment or wages, some of which affect the running of cities, are biases that AI algorithms can identify.
The question that is often asked is, are cities ready to adopt AI in their operations? The answer to this is that some have already embraced artificial intelligence and are currently using it to streamline their services. AI solutions have the potential to transform policy-making processes and improve effectiveness and engagement with the residents. Although AI is still in its early stages, it has already been proven that it can help address problems that we have faced for many years in our cities. Therefore, continued testing and implementation of AI, in the end, will be beneficial to cities.