Smart Cities use a variety of sensors such as cameras and movement/pressure monitors dotted around towns, cities and infrastructure in order to gather vast amounts of data about the entities operating in that space, e.g. People and Traffic. The goal is to improve efficiency.
Using this data meaningfully requires processing and this is where AI comes in. AI can learn from Smart City data to provide predictions, recommendations and insights about how all aspects of cities function.
AI Smart City applications can be used in all manner of city activities both in real time and desktop studies/ research ranging from town planning, improving traffic efficiency, pedestrian movement, energy optimisation and security.
Of course, this data gathering as people within cities go about their activities raises questions about privacy, especially with cameras being used for facial recognition, and AI bring able to predict our next step based on e.g. our current location and even current behaviour and facial expression.
However, the same logic can be applied to e.g. traffic status and improving traffic flow, preventing accidents and overall improving all aspects of efficiency within city and town operations.
With the application of AI to Smart Cities, this increasingly-used technology provides, on balance, a massive benefit to planning, improving and protecting our towns and cities.
China is already using this tech and in the UK some councils are already buying Chinese-supplied cameras for such use.