Can Building “Artificially Intelligent Cities” Safeguard Humanity from Natural Disasters, Pandemics, and Other Catastrophes? An Urban Scholar’s Perspective
In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has started to manifest itself at an unprecedented pace. With highly sophisticated capabilities, AI has the potential to dramatically change our cities and societies. Despite its growing importance, the urban and social implications of AI are still an understudied area. In order to contribute to the ongoing efforts to address this research gap, this paper introduces the notion of an artificially intelligent city as the potential successor of the popular smart city brand—where the smartness of a city has come to be strongly associated with the use of viable technological solutions, including AI. The study explores whether building artificially intelligent cities can safeguard humanity from natural disasters, pandemics, and other catastrophes. All of the statements in this viewpoint are based on a thorough review of the current status of AI literature, research, developments, trends, and applications. This paper generates insights and identifies prospective research questions by charting the evolution of AI and the potential impacts of the systematic adoption of AI in cities and societies. The generated insights inform urban policymakers, managers, and planners on how to ensure the correct uptake of AI in our cities, and the identified critical questions offer scholars directions for prospective research and development.
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