Technology and Today's 'City Observed'

Computer vision and machine learning promise to change the way we see and understand urban life.

1 minute read

February 18, 2018, 11:00 AM PST

By snewberg @JoeUrbanist

Rapidly evolving technology has the capacity to change the way we see and design urban places, writes Patrick Sisson in an article for Curbed. Machine learning is used in architecture to better design places and respond to changing tastes. Retailers are looking for better ways to serve customers, including cashier-less checkouts. Urban planners can use it to better design shared space. Transportation planners can better plan improvements as simple as location of a new crosswalk.  

Drawbacks persist. One is facial recognition technology, which is less accurate among nonwhites and women. Most agree that privacy and anonymity cannot be sacrificed for data. Yet technology will continue to shape our cities.

"William Whyte, for all his skilled observations, was ultimately a bystander with better memory. New technology is creating not just an observer, but an omniscient narrator."

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