August 17, 2020, ainerd
Can Technology Save Massive Cities From Doom?
When it comes to the future of life on Earth, cities are not the problem, but the solution. Smart cities are using data and digital technologies to make better decisions and improve quality of life. Whether a city has a large legacy or is being built from scratch, Smart City Technology can help cities get more out of their assets.
Here’s what has to do with accelerating the growth of computers: we will one day get to the point where we build computers that are smarter than any human on Earth. This means that the more advanced we are, the easier it will be to develop even more advanced technologies. This is of no use to anyone, but above all to machines, and we will see a global civil war when machines try to build a Skynet or a Terminator.
Bostrom says that the only way to save us from this doomsday scenario is to introduce global mass surveillance. Humans would monitor artificial intelligence that would send information to a “center of freedom” that would help “save” us from doom. The data would flicker back and forth between humans and artificial intelligence and then back to humans.
This stuff, according to Bostrom, can be enormously powerful, producing weapons, powering cities, healing the sick, and even raising the dead.
When was the last time anyone did not use a major technological breakthrough for nefarious, destructive purposes? When was the first time it was decided that a computer would vaporize an entire city in seconds, rather than in years or even decades? If we are doomed to be put in a serious state before we find out, artificial intelligence is probably our best choice. When I last called it, the steam power changed the Earth’s ability to sustain us, and we were all doomed.
Since then, experts have been arguing whether the problem of nuclear costs is an inherent error that will doom technology, or whether it is the result of human error. There are people like Ray Kurzweil who believe that this technology will improve our lives, save humanity, and possibly guarantee our place in the universe indefinitely. Bostrom and others fear that machines that can make new versions smarter without human intervention will overtake themselves – and improve technology. Second, Kurzweils and his followers believe that the more technology is created and becomes part of us, the more it will harm humanity.
Well-designed, well-governed cities will in fact improve the lives of the billions of people who will become new urban cities by 2050. If not, the cities that lay the groundwork for future urban growth will overtake and overshadow them.
If a large asteroid were heading for a full-blown impact on Earth, humanity would be counting on Bruce Willis and an atomic bomb to save the world from certain doom, Armageddon-style Armageddon. This is, of course, quite unlikely, but if an asteroid were really on its way, we could follow the catastrophic film Armageddon and set fire to our nuclear weapons in an effort to save the planet. Indeed, our current obsession with “saving” and “helping” our planet could be our species “undoing, too.
This brings us back to the idea of a technological utopia that will solve all our stupid human disputes and we will all live in a state of bliss, with orgies in an ultra-VR world that exists in the clouds.
The rise of the digital economy is accompanied by some frightening developments, and we should take them seriously, not only for the sake of our future, but also for the sake of our present and future.
Technology is not a quick fix for crime, but a connected and efficient Smart City saves time, property and lives. Transport in smart cities can make a huge difference in the way people commute in dense urban areas, helping local authorities to save costs, provide better services to citizens and better manage safety. In dense cities with extensive transit, smart technology could save the average commuter nearly 15 minutes a day. Agencies can use this data to make more effective use of scarce resources and staff.
This 5% reduction is possible because developing countries monitor infectious diseases with surveillance systems to stay one step ahead of rapidly evolving epidemics. Without building new roads and power grids, cities can afford to shut down the existing facilities that people rely on to install new ones. The smart city sector is new and developing rapidly, so proving that smart cities can operate efficiently and improve urban services is crucial. With SCIRA’s findings, cities could standardize standards across the spectrum of smart cities, have more flexibility in integrating technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors into the everyday life of public services, and could have a significant impact on public health and safety, as well as economic growth.