A coming of AI-age: What does it mean for the business and city development?

Unless you have been living completely off-grid these past few months, it is hard to have missed the global conversation that the rise of generative AI in the public consciousness. Most notably, this has been led by the launch of ChatGPT, in November 2022, with speculation, excitement, and indeed a fair amount of confusion being expressed in equal measure as an era-defining change, fueled by AI-powered technology has been recognized.

With its ability to influence everyday lives at all levels of society – from the individual to commercial and authorities interests – the world has effectively been scrambling to understand what the implication of this new tech means to them.

In short, AI-generated content and chatbots have come of age and this is expected to have a huge impact on the way businesses operate. The technology, which is capable of learning from vast amounts of digital information, is expected to allow businesses to create new content and improve the efficiency of their operations and gain a competitive advantage.

The potential of generative AI to transform the way businesses operate is a truly exciting step forward, but it is also important that executives are first aware of both the opportunities and threats this brings to their current business models, in order to effectively utilize generative AI.

As a priority, organizations need first identify the areas where generative AI can most usefully be deployed so as to improve their operations and executives would be best advised to set up a framework in order to track its progress. A good way to do this is would be to involve a number of cross-functional team members composed of various experts in legal, scientific R&D, marketers and business development leaders.

Much as we would advise our own customers, at Terminus Group, in areas of AI and Internet of Things (AIoT) technology and AI City development, before implementing generative AI, it is important that companies thoroughly study its potential impact on their operations and value chain of the business. In doing so, this will create a sound framework from which the company can develop an integrate it into an effective ecosystem.

As with the advent of all major technology gamechangers – as last experienced with the introduction of the Internet – it is also important that the company encourages continuous innovation within its organization and maintains a commitment to investing in areas that will advance and also protect their business. This may take the form of reconsidering policies and goals that integrates into a framework for implementing generative AI.

As with all AI-powered technology, one eye should also be on establishing standards operating procedures that generative AI models should follow and ensuring all matters pertaining to ethical and legal considerations have a satisfactory consensus.

AI-powered cities

While many AI-powered service solutions already rely on chat assistants or chatbots, future smart cities will eventually be the digital platforms from which we are all be capable of handling all aspects of our private or business-related interactions. These platforms, such as Terminus Group's TacOS 3.0 city-wide operations platform, will also allow operators to have access to a comprehensive view of their cities, through the accumulation of information. The new generation of chat assistants will also be able to perform predictive analysis and provide operational insights over a large-scale environment, such as a city.

According to Gartner, 30 per cent of authorities services in cities are already using AI-powered chatbots in some part of their operations, and this number is expected to grow exponentially, before the end of the decade.

From a city-wide perspective, considerations for adopting digital transformation and establishing operation and infrastructure standards are a must, supported by the use of IoT and cloud computing to integrate their various services and automate operations. In addition, cities can also develop their own generative AI models to improve efficiency, across the breath of its infrastructure and services, as well as for predicting future challenges and outcomes. The creation of digital twins, which are interactive digital representations of the city's environments and physical assets, is also a strategy already being employed across many major cities, internationally.

The increasing density of city environments – around 53 per cent of the world's population is now living within an urban or city environment – is crucial to creating a new era of urban digitization. This will allow residents and businesses to gain a deeper understanding of their local communities and address the various requirements and trends surrounding urbanization.

For Terminus Group's part, the company has developed a strategy that combines the software and hardware needed to create an autonomous upgrade model for cities – an over-the-air (OTA) system. This concept aims to provide an underlying framework that can be continuously updated and modified, with AI City systems featuring various applications and services such as fire protection, smart communities, smart security, and smart finance. These solutions are all designed to be integrated into the city's smart operating system, TacOS 3.0.

Being able to analyze and interpret the information collected by the various equipments in a city will help make the city brain even more intelligent. Therefore, the TacOS system will be a sustainable digitalized portfolio that will allow city operators to receive and interpret the information coming from all AIoT-related tech and help deliver improved well-being for citizens, using the technology to create a more human-centric environment – assisted by technology.

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