Smart cities? Sure. But the real challenge is for cities not to get smart, but to stay smart.
It’s tough living in the desert. Or is it? Plus: looking ahead to this year’s edition of the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition, better known
It’s tough living in the desert.
At least, so I’ve heard. To be honest, I wouldn’t know. After all, I love the heat; my complete and utter intolerance for any temperatures below 40 degrees Celsius is legendary. But there’s also this: the so-called “desert” I supposedly live in nowadays is pretty well-connected.
One reason why it’s so well-connected: smart cities. AI. Blockchain. Not just virtual reality, but mixed reality and augmented reality. Hyper-personalisation. Adaptive networks. Burgeoning automation. Online and mobile every- thing. You get the gist.
A lot of talk about smart cities is how they can be more efficient and, ultimately, make us happier. To that end, Dubai is doing a pretty good job.
Take the Paperless Strategy – which will save countless trees (and thus the environment) and streamline services. Or the Roads and Transport Authority’s new smart system intended to tackle the problem of long waits for transport at major events. When first coming here, I was amazed how quickly my residency visa was processed – from going into the office to be photographed to having the visa in my hands, the entire process took less than a week; a testament, truly, to efficiency in the digital age we live in today.
But just as humans need to keep learning to stay on top of life, so too do our cities need to adapt to changing technologies and times, lest they be left in the proverbial dust.
Spoiler: smart cities is one of our features this month. Oh, and it’s also one of the themes of this year’s Gulf Information Technology Exhibition, better known to most people simply as GITEX. Since this is our GITEX issue, after all, it’s rather fitting, no?
Of course, GITEX is also all about the latest and greatest when it comes to innovations. We’d be remiss if we didn’t cover a bit of the same – which is why we caught up with Flytxt CEO Dr Vinod Vasudevan to chat about some very cool things they are doing with machine learning, big data and AI.
We’re also carrying forward the momentum of the last issue – but there’s always room for improvement and fine-tuning even the most well-oiled of machines. At the very least, we’re continuing the energy that last issue has generated, and including more interviews and expert analysis and commentary from folks who know the industry well; that’s not going to change.
Anyway, so here’s our GITEX issue, laid bare for your perusal, scrutiny, paper hat making, and/or whatever else it is you do with magazines after you’ve (hopefully) read them. And speaking of GITEX, maybe see you there.
Just as humans need to keep learning to stay on top of life, so too do our cities need to adapt to changing technologies and times, lest they be left in the proverbial dust.”
Preparing for tomorrow is a big theme every year at GITEX.