Artificial Intelligence in the city
Handing the keys to the city over to AI promises improvements in terms of the ecological footprint.Thursday, September 12, 2019
Handing the keys to the city over to artificial intelligence promises improvements in terms of the ecological footprint and the efficiency of services. But at what cost?
Since 2016, an army of technological devices has been undergoing testing at one of the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) residences in Montréal. Among other functions, these devices can raise the alarm in case of a water leak, turn down the heat when the weather warms up and allow for lights to be turned off remotely through a command.
However, the ambition behind these auto¬mated systems goes far beyond the comfort of the tenants.
It’s a very short journey from a smart home to a smart city. For Mohamed Cheriet, a Professor at ÉTS and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Smart Sustainable Eco-Cloud, the installation of these devices represents a “test bench”, the purpose of which is to explore their potential to improve energy management on a neighbourhood and even city-wide scale.
Ultimately, the plan is to deploy the system in 200 residences by the beginning of 2020. The collected data will allow for real-time analysis of water and electricity consumption for a single residence and simultaneously for multiple residences, as if in a small city.
The project is also linked to a much larger initiative: the Open-Air Laboratory for Smart Living (LAB-VI), headed by Videotron, ÉTS, Ericsson and the Quartier de l’innovation (QI). LAB-VI features a technological infrastructure that was implemented to test various digital solutions in Montréal’s Griffintown neighbourhood, including smart bus shelters. The partners will soon have access to a 5G network that will allow LAB-VI sensors to share massive volumes of data more quickly, and in real time.
Translation of an excerpt from Québec Science (April-May 2019)