Phoenix to Infuse AI into Urban and Regional Planning

AI News

Earlier this week, the World Economic Forum published an article about how local governments around the world are using AI, and just a few days later, APM Research Labs published an article specifically looking at Arizona's efforts to incorporate AI into its urban and regional planning, which will be on the ballot this November.

The full rollout of the technology is part of Proposition 470, a 20-year extension of the half-cent sales tax that Phoenix voters first approved in 1985 and renewed in 2004. “If voters pass, Proposition 479 would set aside $12.5 million annually for emerging technologies, helping Phoenix maintain its position as a regional leader in tech adoption,” reporter Liswick Carrare wrote. The city already uses AI to adjust traffic signals in response to real-time conditions, and if Proposition 479 is approved, it could bring the technology to the entire metro area, Carrare reported.

The APM Research Lab article also highlights AI efforts in Tempe, Arizona, which adopted an ethical AI policy in 2023. Stephanie Deitrick, chief data and analytics officer for the city of Tempe, who created the policy, said at a recent summit that AI has many shortcomings and that successful policies and applications are human-centered and require human oversight to check and balance biases inherent in data and algorithms. “AI alone cannot understand the social norms, culture, or development context of every city in which it is used, especially when it comes to governance,” Carrare wrote. The article concludes with an AI-generated conclusion: “By carefully weighing the benefits and risks and ensuring AI is used as a complement rather than a replacement, urban planners can harness the power of AI to create smarter, more responsive cities while upholding community values ​​and public trust.”

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