When the Internet was released to the public in the ’90s, no one could have predicted the massive changes society would undergo in the next decade. Not only could people from around the world communicate with each other and have access to all the information they’d need, but their daily routines would begin depending on the Internet.

SwissCognitive Guest Blogger: Matthew Stern a technology content strategist at TechFools

SwissCognitive, AI, Artificial Intelligence, Bots, CDO, CIO, CI, Cognitive Computing, Deep Learning, IoT, Machine Learning, NLP, Robot, Virtual reality, learningFast forward to today, where the idea of having no Internet could mean getting nothing done that day. Communication relies on the Internet. Many jobs rely on the Internet. Society has become dependent on the Internet, and the connected world as a whole, and nowhere is this better exemplified than in smart cities.

What are Smart Cities?

 AI In Smart CitiesImage from Unsplash.com

The first “smart city” appeared in 1994 in Amsterdam. The city was called “De Digitale Stad, DDS,” a virtual city that encouraged Amsterdam citizens to purchase Internet equipment. According to non-profit organization Waag, the project helped sell modems and gained one-hundred thousand users in half a year.

Since then, smart cities have grown. They are more common, and they are more advanced. But what exactly is a smart city? Simply put, a smart city is a city that uses the Internet, existing technologies, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve various aspects of a city and the lives of its citizens.

Perhaps the most interesting addition to smart cities is the addition of AI. Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings a lot to the table and can improve the interconnectedness of smart cities. But what can it do, and is it true that it is useful for smart city development?

How AI is Used in Smart Cities


The past decade has seen multiple cities install facial recognition cameras in order to deter crime. However, facial recognition is only the tip of the iceberg.

AI allows for a platitude of ways to deter or detect crime. For one, AI-equipped cameras can detect motion, helping law enforcement monitor crime scenes.

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AI can also be used to create sensors capable of parsing certain sounds, such as gunshots. These sensors would then inform law enforcement and help them get to the potential crime scene as soon as possible.

Machine Learning for Traffic Management

Asia contains some of the most congested traffic in the world. And while this can be a problem, cities have already begun using AI to combat congestion.

According to Techwire Asia, the city of Delhi uses over 7,500 cameras, and automated traffic lights work together to direct traffic and create a more responsive traffic system.

The same can be seen in China thanks to Alibaba’s City Brain, a project launched in Alibaba to manage traffic and cut congestion. It’s already active in 23 cities, and that number is sure to grow as time goes on.


It’s clear that AI has a big role in the development of smart cities. And as time goes on, more cities will fit the criteria required to be considered a smart city.

Keep in mind that AI can be used for more than what’s been listed here. From traffic to security to waste disposal to planning and city development, AI will play a big role in smart city development.

About the author:

Matthew Stern is a technology content strategist at TechFools, a tech blog aiming at informing readers about the potential dangers of technology and introducing them to the best ways to protect themselves online.