Even the world’s most advanced cities aren’t ready for AI challenges

According to a research reported by Quartz, no city is close to being ready for the challenges presented by artificial intelligence. AI, which refers to programming that can mimic human behaviours such as speaking, learning and carrying out tasks, is flourishing fast across the world, and being used in applications ranging from facial recognition to autonomous driving. However, along with the many possibilities of AI, risks from its capacity to replace human workers, or from unethical uses of the technology, have also become more obvious. Oliver Wyman Forum published the Global Cities AI Disruption Index, which aims to look at how 105 major cities are preparing for the AI era. The report was conducted based on interviews with stakeholders such as government officials and academics, a survey of 9,000 residents in 21 of those cities, as well as an analysis of public social and economic data on the cities examined. Overall, the report measures readiness using four broad parameters—a city’s understanding of AI-related risks and its corresponding plans, its ability to carry out those plans, the asset base it can rely on, and the direction the city is taking. Oliver Wyman says that while Singapore, Stockholm, London and Shenzhen are no.1 individually across four broad AI-related criteria, there's not a city in the world that ranks in the top 20 in all four categories. This means “no city is close to being ready for the challenges ahead,” said the report. “Sure, some are better prepared than others, but all cities will need to continue to make substantial improvements to fully prepare for the impacts of next-generation technology.”