The Future of Urban AI: Global Dialogues on Urban Artificial Intelligence

To deepen our understanding of how deep learning and other AI technologies are being used to address pressing urban challenges, Urban AI and the Jacobs Urban Tech Hub at Cornell Tech partnered in Autumn 2022 to produce a program of webinars. This report analyses the insights and shares the learnings from those Global Dialogues on Urban Artificial Intelligence.

Mapping urban artificial intelligence: 1st report of GOUAI’s Atlas of Urban AI

The Atlas of Urban AI, conceived as the flagship project of the Global Observatory of Urban Artificial Intelligence (GOUAI), has established itself as the largest and most comprehensive openly accessible repository of ethical urban artificial intelligence initiatives worldwide. Building on the research conducted, its 1st report analyses the cases included in the Atlas and provides a comprehensive view of best practices and trends characterising the global evolution of urban AI.  

‘Trustworthy Cities: Ethical Urban Artificial Intelligence’ Course Module

Part of the course “AI Ethics: Global perspectives”, this module by researcher Marta Galceran (CIDOB) delves into how cities are increasingly embracing the use of algorithmic tools to address all sorts of urban challenges and improve the provision of public services. It also discusses the ethical implications of the use of artificial intelligence in urban contexts and, building on the research of the Global Observatory of Urban Artificial Intelligence, it provides an overview of some of the initiatives and ethical principles promoted by cities.

SustAIn Magazine: Sustainable AI in Practice

New magazine on how sustainable AI can be put into practice. The environmental, social and economic sustainability costs of AI urgently need to be addressed by academia, industry, civil society and policy makers – based on evidence. First edition.

Barcelona’s AI Strategy

The “Municipal strategy on algorithms and data to ethically drive artificial intelligence”: the government measure laying down the mechanisms for applying artificial intelligence (AI) to municipal management and services while respecting citizens’ digital rights. Barcelona is joining cities’ efforts to construct a human rights-based AI and emerging technology model with a commitment to a democratic digital society. The strategy adopts 7 governing principles that have to be followed in any technological application to ensure correct risk management, respect for digital rights and public responsibility: Human action and supervision; Technical robustness and security; Data privacy and governance; Transparency; Diversity, inclusion and fairness; Social and environmental commitment; and Responsibility, accountability and democratic control.

AI Contract clauses for the Procurement of European Public Authorities

The AI clauses are developed for pilot use in the procurement of AI with the aim to establish responsibilities for trustworthy, transparent, and accountable development of AI technologies between the supplier and the public organisation.

Building on the good practice of the City of Amsterdam and considering the latest development of the European proposal for an Artificial Intelligence Act, the clauses have been developed by the legal and financial subgroup of #LivinginEU together with DG GROW and Pels Rijcken, in collaboration with Eurocities ENoLL (European Network of Living Labs) ERRIN Open & Agile Smart Cities (OASC) and The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR).

Urban AI Guide

Many city leaders are confronted with the reality that they lacked the background knowledge to properly engage with and evaluate urban solutions involving emerging technologies such as AI. In some instances, this knowledge gap produces a barrier to project implementation or leads to unintended outcomes. This guide aims at aiding city leaders and urban technologists (academic, public, private, and community-focused) better understand how AI operates in urban contexts.

The guide begins with a literature review, presenting the state of the art in research on urban AI. It then diagrams and describes an “urban AI anatomy,” outlining and explaining the components that make up an urban AI system. Insights from experts in the Urban AI community enrich this section, illuminating considerations involved in each component. Finally, the guide concludes with an in-depth examination of three case studies that highlight the diversity of ways in which AI can be operationalized in urban contexts, as well as the steps and requirements necessary to implement an urban AI project.

Definition of Work Methodologies and Protocols for Implementing Algorithmic Systems – Barcelona City Council

Internal protocol for the ethical implementation of algorithmic systems used by the municipality, including step-by-step mechanisms for each stage of the process (from public tendering and implementation to the dismantling of the AI system). The procedure adapts to the different stages of the AI lifecycle and its level of riskiness (assessed from ‘limited and minimal risk’ to ‘unacceptable risk’ based on the EU Commission’s risk classification). This is a pioneering document in regard to the regulation and governance of algorithmic systems at the local level, as it combines the public procurement process, the lifecycle of an algorithmic system, data protection mechanisms and ethical standards.

Algorithmic Transparency Standard

The Algorithmic Transparency Standard is a set of shared categories of information that European cities can use to help people understand the algorithmic tools they use, why and how they’re using them. This includes providing information on algorithmic tools and algorithm-assisted decisions in a complete, open, understandable, easily-accessible, and free format. It also allows people to compare different algorithms within and across cities. This standard supports documenting decisions and assumptions for both management of artificial intelligence (AI) governance and provide meaningful transparency in a standardized way. In essence, its a common data schema for algorithm registries that is validated, open-source, publicly available, and ready for use in local algorithm registers.

Made by Eurocities’ Digital Forum Lab in collaboration with Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Eindhoven, Mannheim, Rotterdam and Sofia.

“AI Localism In Practice: Examining How Cities Govern AI” Report

This report serves as a primer for policymakers, practitioners, AI Experts and the general public to learn about current municipal governance practices of AI. The report features fundamental governance methods that are being deployed by cities, mainly: 

  • Principles and Rights: foundational requirements and constraints of AI and algorithmic use in the public sector;
  • Laws and Policies: regulation to codify the above for public and private sectors;
  • Procurement: mandates around the use of AI in employment and hiring practices; 
  • Engagement: public involvement in AI use and limitations;
  • Accountability and Oversight: requirements for periodic reporting and auditing of AI use;
  • Transparency: consumer awareness about AI and algorithm use; and
  • Literacy: avenues to educate policymakers and the public about AI and data.

Ten lessons and recommendations are then drawn from each of the governance mechanisms: 

  • Principles provide a North Star for governance;
  • Public engagement provides a social license;
  • AI literacy enables meaningful engagement;
  • Tap into local expertise;
  • Innovate in how transparency is provided;
  • Establish new means for accountability and oversight;
  • Signal boundaries through binding laws and policies;
  • Use procurement to shape responsible AI markets;
  • Establish data collaboratives to tackle asymmetries; and
  • Make good governance strategic

‘Trustworthy Cities: Ethics in the AI Era’ Documentary

Premiered on 15th November 2022, at the Smart City Expo World Congress, the documentary addresses the main challenges associated with the ethical governance of artificial intelligence in urban settings.

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