IBM 5 in 5 – smart city induced utopia?
According to IBM’s 5 in 5 predictions:
“…cities can be hard unforgiving places to live…cities are tough, because they require us to live on their terms, but in five years the tables will turn. With cities adapting to our terms, with cloud-based social feedback, crowdsourcing, and predictive analytics, we’ll shape our cities to our evolving wants and needs, comings and goings, and late-night pizza hankerings. By engaging citizens, city leaders will be able to respond directly to our needs, and dynamically allocate resources…and pizza.”
There is an increasingly concerned chorus of critics objecting to the marketing language used by some proponents of “smart cities”, because they sense that corporate interests and government departments may well try to leverage the new technologies from the top-down, instead of the bottom-up approach preferred by an increasingly empowered citizenry.
There is a bit of truth mixed-in with the hype. For example, it is true that bottom-up crowdsourced information feedback allows the city to self-organise – to dynamically adapt to both new and old opportunities and challenges – and to develop a sort of self-regulating city ‘consciousness’. But a more nuanced view is necessary when it comes to forecasting the end of all evils due to the the implied top-down mastery of all things complex…Continue reading »