Scottish Cities to get smarter with £24m boost

Seven Scottish cities are to benefit from Smart City projects, as £24m is invested in turning them into ‘world leading digital hubs’. The Smart Cities Scotland programme aims to make services across Scotland’s cities more efficient and greener while making the cities themselves more attractive to potential investors, transforming everything from street lighting to healthcare, and from public safety to controlling energy use. Aberdeen, Perth, Stirling and Glasgow are piloting Intelligent Street Lighting, while Perth, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling will work collaboratively in order to deliver improved waste management services, including deployment of smart bin technology. You can find out more here.

AI plays video games to get smarter, don’t tell the kids

AI getting smarter with video gamesApparently, to make AIs more intelligent, they’re being encouraged to play more video games! In direct opposition to what you tell your kids, OpenAi – an artificial intelligence research nonprofit – is letting AI play video games… thousands of video games, with the aim of increasing AIs general intelligence. See, despite advanced new machine learning techniques and being plied with copies quantities of data, AIs aren’t as smart as people. Not yet. They are little more than “idiot savants unable to apply what they’ve learnt from one problem to another”. Well, a spot of gaming aims to change that. Just don’t tell my son!

The growth of the MegaRegion

Using commuter data to map the rise of the megaregion

To you and I, the average commuter, you wouldn’t attribute much economic value to your morning battle. Quite the reverse. However, behind this daily drudgery hides the best measure of “functional economic geography”. A new project, that combines commuting data and cartography, shows the rise of the megaregion – massive ‘blobs’ that centre on major metropolitan areas. The algorithmic method used produces a “pretty good match for economic geography” and highlights the potential for megaregions to pool their political capital and finances to more effectively serve those that inhabit the space.

Big Data still holds answers, but they’re not where you’re looking for them

Big data is omnipresent. It can be used well or ignored, it can be employed for good or for bad. It can make us vulnerable or strong. With this duality of roles, it’s easy for data to become decontextualised, leading to ill-informed decisions and wrong assumptions. So, when looking for answers amongst your data, it’s important to keep in mind that these answers are rarely in plain sight. Often the data you need to solve a problem isn’t wholly apparent. Data does still hold the answers, but they’re not always where you’re looking for them!

Will Obama’s tech legacy survive President Trump? 

Obama's technology legacy

When Obama’s transition team entered the White House late in 2008, one of it’s first tasks was to make technical innovation a priority rather than an after thought. Over the next 8 years this digital-first strategy has enjoyed its plaudits. One of the latter steps taken by the White House was the appointment of its first chief data scientist to tackle more ambitious data projects than ever before. “Our mission is to responsibly unleash the power of data to benefit all Americans”, said chief data scientist DJ Patil. When President-elect Donald Trump moves into the White House in January, he’ll find a ‘formidable’ tech infrastructure already place in the White House. But will the White House’s tech legacy continue to grow under President Trump?

The Radio Garden – a world of sounds

Radio Garden, big radio for the world

This fantastic project for the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision explores live internet streams of radio stations across the world by navigating a Google Earth-style globe interface. Built using an open-source WebGL globe that draws its data from thousands of radio stations – terrestrial and online-only streams. Radio’s often given short shrift in this era of always on information. As you jump from Iran to the Faroe Islands to mid-America, this project reminds us that sometimes there’s nothing more magical than picking up a crackly FM station playing a tinny rendition of Springsteen to reaffirm your sense of where you are, no matter where you are.

Posted in Big data, IoT, Media roundup On December 16, 2016 By