The humanitarian approach to the development of the smart city movement. Application of crowd intelligence.

The humanitarian approach to the development of the smart city movement. Application of crowd intelligence.

Requires the use of modern solutions and approaches (both technological and social), but the focus is still on the comfort and safety of people

In accordance with the English version of Wikipedia, a smart city is a technologically modern urban area. This definition reflects the technological approach to the concept of smart city, which primarily focuses on the city as a place of implementation of the latest technologies. In my opinion, this approach is a bit one-sided, since it does not imply an answer to the questions of why and how exactly to use certain modern technologies.

I will give a very simple routine example. In some smart hotels, motion sensors are installed in the rooms, which turn on the light in the room if one of the guests starts moving. Now imagine that a family lives in a room and one of its members gets out of bed at night. The light immediately turns on, waking up the rest of the family. From my point of view, this simple example illustrates how wrong it is to use technology without sufficient consideration of the convenience and needs of people.

In this article, I would like to talk about the humanitarian approach to smart city projects, in which the development and management of the city focus on creating the most comfortable (in terms of the most modern and advanced concept of comfort) and safe conditions for its residents, as well as visitors. Of course, this requires the use of modern solutions and approaches (both technological and social), but the focus is still on the comfort and safety of people.

In order to make a smart city development plan based on a humanitarian approach as accurately as possible, technologies involving the use of human imagination and creativity are very much needed. First of all, this is crowd intelligence (CI). Crowd intelligence involves the creation of an open community of voluntary experts (crowd), made up of people of different professions, nationalities, ages, preferences, and style of thinking, each of whom takes part in finding solutions to especially complicated and important non-standard tasks. In particular, tasks for the development and management of smart cities.

This suggests a comparison with artificial intelligence. No doubt, this is one of the key technologies on which the development and management of smart cities is based. A lot is said and written about the risks and threats associated with AI. But mostly it’s about the dangers associated with the threat that AI can become a formidable tool in the hands of criminals or terrorists, or that bugs in algorithms can lead to incorrect decisions. These are important risks, but the most significant, in my opinion, risk is ignored almost everywhere. This is a risk that if the most important decisions in human society are made by artificial intelligence, then people will gradually lose awareness of their purpose to be intelligent creatures whose intellect, purpose, desire and imagination influence the development of human civilization. If this happens, then many people may face mental and physical health problems, and the number of incidents and crimes related to unmotivated violence may increase on the streets of cities. To avoid this, we need a combination of AI and CI. Moreover, in terms of imagination, human intelligence still surpasses artificial intelligence.

Now I would like to talk about two specific examples of projects linking Smart City and Crowd Intelligence

Second stage of the "City of the Future" crowdsourcing project

First of all, I would like to announce the launch of the second stage of the “City of the Future” project. We have already written about the first stage.

I would like to remind readers that the “City of the Future” is a crowdsourcing project aimed both at describing how advanced cities on Earth will look like in 2035-2040 and at identifying and finding solutions to the most significant problems and challenges that the urban population will have to face.

For the second stage of the project, we have prepared new questions and tasks for the members of the crowd based on a humanitarian approach to the development of smart cities.

I would like to briefly describe some of them.

In one of the questions, we ask: How will residents of the Cities of the Future spend their free time and how will the entertainment industry be organized in the Cities of the Future?

Entertainment is an important and significant part of the life of modern people. This is especially important from the point of view of modern work trends in which more and more people are switching to remote or hybrid work, and, consequently, they have more time for entertainment, Another important trend is the combination of entertainment and education, thanks to which a new edutainment industry appears. And this is very important for the comfortable adaptation of city residents to the new world in which new technologies are spreading.

In another question, we ask: What innovative measures will be used to solve environmental problems and maintain a favorable natural habitat for residents of the Cities of the Future?

It is clear that without environmental well-being, city residents cannot have a safe or comfortable life. And if we, in particular, fail to protect the biological diversity on our planet, then life will also become boring and emotionally poor.

And finally, an example of another, narrower question: How should the construction process (construction works) be organized in the Cities of the Future in order to be as comfortable as possible for its residents and help solve the maximum number of urban tasks?

We all know how uncomfortable life can become for people in the city if construction is going on all around. And as part of our project, we will try to find solutions that will help reduce the level of this discomfort. And ideally, to ensure that construction work in the city would even increase the level of comfort and pleasure for residents and guests of the city.

A unique future City-Building game

The second project, which I would like to tell you about, is designed to enable any inhabitant of the Earth to build their own "dream city" with the help of a computer game, which should be created with the participation of CI. The tasks of the crowd will include inventing the plot of the game, its "enticing features", a promotion program and a business model.

City-Building games are what we play in childhood, building sand castles or houses made of cubes. But the building instinct, even if sometimes in a "sleeping" state, remains with most adults and the conceived game is designed to awaken it.

We believe that such a game will not only become an exciting activity for millions of people, but will also make a significant contribution to the progress of the smart city movement. In particular, it should be possible to obtain important information based on the analysis of generalized behavior of players, which can then be used for the management and development of smart cities. Secondly, such a game can become an important part of educational and training programs for employees of municipalities and companies involved in the smart city movement, as well as for students and just everyone.

Just as in the case of the "City of the Future", the co-organizers of the project to create a City-building game are the crowdsourcing agency OmniGrade and the outstanding construction company Coteccons.

For both projects, we hope for the emergence of partner cities and partner companies. But the most important role in such projects, of course, is played by members of the crowd, each of whom can significantly contribute to making people's lives (especially urban residents lives), more comfortable, safe and exciting. And get tangible benefits for each member.


Mikhail Treyvish

Mikhail Treyvish

Founder, Universal crowdsourcing agency OmniGrade

For over 20 years, Mikhail Treyvish has been a prominent figure in the international factoring industry, taking part in significant factoring projects in Russia, India, Vietnam and other countries. Since 2016, Mikhail has been a researcher and entrepreneur in the field of crowdsourcing and founded the Universal Crowdsourcing agency OmniGrade.

OmniGrade helps companies and organizations with ambitious and noble goals to create communities of supporters and volunteer experts and to find effective solutions to the most complicated business issues and challenges.

Since August 2021, Mikhail has also been involved in the “City of the Future” crowdsourcing project. It aims to describe what advanced cities on Earth will look like in 2035-2040, and identify and search for solutions to the most significant problems and challenges that urban populations will have to face.

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