The Sustainability of Artificial Intelligence: An Urbanistic Viewpoint from the Lens of Smart and Sustainable Cities
The popularity and application of artificial intelligence (AI) are increasing rapidly all around the world—where, in simple terms, AI is a technology which mimics the behaviors commonly associated with human intelligence. Today, various AI applications are being used in areas ranging from marketing to banking and finance, from agriculture to healthcare and security, from space exploration to robotics and transport, and from chatbots to artificial creativity and manufacturing. More recently, AI applications have also started to become an integral part of many urban services. Urban artificial intelligences manage the transport systems of cities, run restaurants and shops where every day urbanity is expressed, repair urban infrastructure, and govern multiple urban domains such as traffic, air quality monitoring, garbage collection, and energy. In the age of uncertainty and complexity that is upon us, the increasing adoption of AI is expected to continue, and so its impact on the sustainability of our cities. This viewpoint explores and questions the sustainability of AI from the lens of smart and sustainable cities, and generates insights into emerging urban artificial intelligences and the potential symbiosis between AI and a smart and sustainable urbanism. In terms of methodology, this viewpoint deploys a thorough review of the current status of AI and smart and sustainable cities literature, research, developments, trends, and applications. In so doing, it contributes to existing academic debates in the fields of smart and sustainable cities and AI. In addition, by shedding light on the uptake of AI in cities, the viewpoint seeks to help urban policymakers, planners, and citizens make informed decisions about a sustainable adoption of AI.
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