The world becomes more urbanized. Over 56% of the world population now lives in cities, and this number can go as high as 97% in Belgium. In parallel, technology plays an increasingly important role in these environments. Specifically: Artificial intelligence, Data, and Robotics have become an integral part of living in cities. We may not always be aware of their presence, but they are playing a critical role in our daily commutes, government services, local stores, or in the public space.
Concepts such as “smart cities” have emerged and reflect the continuing desire of cities to implement these technologies on a large scale to address local challenges – one of which is, of course, becoming even more sustainable. AI and data are now being actively used in a variety of areas, from energy sharing to biodiversity monitoring. Despite these hopes, growing concerns have emerged about the overall inhibiting impact of these technologies on sustainability. In addition, ethical and legal concerns have emerged, to the point where cities enact local responsible use principles, also insisting on greater citizen inclusion.
This conference will investigate if and how AI, Data, and Robotics, can become local and are truly sustainable for cities.