Consequences of Artificial Intelligence for Urban Societies

“Smart Cities” is the buzzword for the development of data-driven processes in the public and governmental space to improve life quality, enable new applications or simply to optimise processes for more efficiency. Artificial intelligence plays a key role in the implementation of smart city services, for example in detecting patterns in the usage of public services to optimize the service quality, or in the identification of unusual behaviour or measurements to trigger an alarm. The basis for such smart services is always data, which can be generated specifically for these services (such as the installation of air pollution sensors) or which can be made available from existing government data or other data sources which are relevant for the general public (e.g. traffic information, public transportation). This project focuses on a potential negative effect of smart cities with the question: Where do smart city applications lead to potential erosion of solidarity of the urban society?

Erosion of solidarity (or desolidarisation) in the context of big data / data mining applications is a well-known, yet not a well researched problem, where profiling and high personalization leads to disadvantages for people with a bad profile, or with no profile at all. Similar processes also exist in smart city applications. This notion of desolidarisation processes in the context of artificial intelligence applications, with a main focus on the urban society, is the central theme for this project.

Name: Consequences of Artificial Intelligence for Urban Societies (CAIUS)
Funding: Volkswagen Stiftung
Overall Budget: 150,000 Euro
Own Budget: 150,000 Euro
Duration: 2019 - 2020
Partners: Prof. Dr. Heiner Stuckenschmidt, University of Mannheim
Prof. Dr. Frauke Kreuter, University of Mannheim