This will be among the first of the projects to be tackled under a recent memorandum of understanding signed by the Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd, IIT-Bombay and University of Toronto (UofT).
Four areas have been identified for the long-term partnership — affordable housing, rural immigrants arriving in large numbers in Pune, cyber security and digital systems interoperability.
The objective, according to a the statement from the university, is to “focus on finding solutions to urban problems by tapping into technology-based ‘smart solutions’ that aim not only to improve economic growth for the city of approximately six million but also to create a more sustainable and resilient region”.
That project is being headed by Mark Fox, distinguished professor of urban systems engineering at the university, and will use AI to standardise the sheer volume of data generated by the city. “The development of data standards could help Pune and other Indian cities improve the analysis, design and delivery of city services.”
In an interview at his office in Toronto, Fox, who has been in the AI field since 1974, said a virtual “Tower of Babel” currently exists in terms of how data related to urban services is available. Creating “knowledge representation” that is “logical” will help to better “analyse and optimise” how the public is served, he added
“These definitions are machine understandable and we can build intelligent systems that use those definitions to do analysis,” he said.