A lot of interesting things are happening in the world of artificial intelligence. In particular, there is a lot of excitement regarding Alibaba’s smart city AI platform. This technology has been in development for quite some time now and goes by the name City Brain. The entire system runs on Alibaba’s cloud computing infrastructure and is now making its way to Malaysia.
An Overseas Expansion for Alibaba’s City Brain
Up to this point, there was never any real indication that Alibaba would bring its smart city AI platform to any place outside of China. As is usually the case in the world of technology, things can change rather quickly. Due to an interesting decision by the company, its City Brain AI platform is now live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is a big step forward for the Chinese company.
This new initiative was made possible with the help of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation and the Kuala Lumpur City Council. Under the banner of Malaysia City Brain, the new AI-powered smart city platform will remain operational on Alibaba’s cloud servers and support the digital transformation of Kuala Lumpur. On paper, it is a very big undertaking, although it remains to be seen how this venture will play out exactly.
The first order of business for this smart city AI platform is to analyze large data volumes extracted from multiple sources. This will entail processing information in video, audio, image, and speech format. By using the built-in machine learning algorithms, Malaysia City Brain will then provide insights to Kuala Lumpur’s government to improve its overall operational efficiency. Moreover, local authorities will be able to monitor security risks on a 24/7 basis without any problems.
There are several phases to the smart city AI platform rollout. The first goal is to use City Brain for traffic management in Kuala Lumpur. Like other cities in the region, traffic congestion can be a very real problem on a nearly daily basis. By collecting real-time data and analyzing traffic volume and speeds in specific lanes, the local authorities should be able to come up with a plan of action to improve overall mobility. Having early access to potential incident detection will prove invaluable as well.
In the future, this AI may be deployed to control urban management systems, including traffic lights and emergency dispatch. Whether or not people will feel at ease knowing the traffic lights are controlled by an AI remains to be seen. Expanding the functionality of this AI will be a gradual process and depend on how well the system performs as time progresses.
It is evident there is a bright future ahead for artificial intelligence and smart cities. Especially in Asia, there seems to be a clear willingness to experiment with these new technologies. Considering that Alibaba’s smart city AI has been used in Hangzhou, China for over a year now, it seems safe to assume that it has a proven track record. How the situation will unfold in Kuala Lumpur remains to be determined.