CIOIT Excellence

How AI and Advanced Analytics Can Help Big Cities

With as much as 68% of the world’s population expected to be living in urban areas by the year 2050, Andy Longworth, in his article in, says that cities have to employ big data, cloud computing, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence to solve their problems. Hearteningly, many cities have already begun embracing this, and Andy explains how cities can continue to use technology to solve their problems.

Big Data

One of the primary reasons why cities are getting smarter is simply because they are now able to gather large amounts data. It’s now cheaper and easier to install sensors, connect them up, send this data to a data center, and then mine this data for insights. Besides this, computer power and storage is cheaper too, and this helps things along immensely as well.

Artificial Intelligence

The huge amounts of data, the cheaper computational-power and open source algorithms let us run AI and machine learning to better effect.


Different cities use different platforms. However, they perform the same functions – which begin with the gathering of data, and this process ends with the mining of said data for insights. The software employed can include everything from open source, Python libraries to commercial off-the-shelf products. Similarly the access to the data thus gathered differs from city to city.

How Cities Can Use AI & Data Analytics to Fight Air Pollution

First, descriptive analytics uses historical data to examine air quality over time. Then, diagnostics identifies normal values and anomalies, and how that is associated with the weather, the number of cars and other related data. Then, predictive analytics, powered by AI and machine learning, can provide guidance as regards the number of cars that will keep the air pollution levels at a specific level.

Now, once cities build models which predict what different scenarios will present them with, they are then empowered to employ machine learning to model solutions to their problems accordingly.

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