AI has great potential to improve smart cities. Machine learning will underpin everything from traffic management to pollution reduction, and will help cities better manage vast swaths of data that support smart cities investment. The McKinsey report finds that about $6 trillion of AI’s impact by 2030 will come through new products and services, in fields ranging from health care to investment.
One of the biggest impacts will come in transportation, with companies like Ford looking to AI to help boost autonomous vehicle (AV) technology. The car company made a splash in February with a $1 billion investment over five years in Argo AI, while AI is expected to help with navigation, like with Facebook testing an AI-backed navigation system in New York City.
Still, the authors warn that countries need to adapt now to the coming technology, and in different ways (wealthier regions could be better adapted for the labor displacement, for example). It’s a warning for cities as well: not every city will incorporate AI in the same way, but the impacts will be felt around the world. McKinsey emphasizes the benefits for early adopters, and notes that China has outpaced the rest of the world with a deliberate strategy of becoming a supply chain leader in AI.
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