Given the choice of living in a so-called ‘smart city’ and living in rural isolation, I think I’d prefer the latter. This opinion has been strengthened by reading about what’s going on in China at the moment:
Last April, the industrial capital of Shenzhen installed anti-jaywalking cameras that use facial recognition to automatically identify people crossing without a green pedestrian light; jaywalkers are shamed on a public website and their photos are displayed on large screens at the intersection,
Nearly 14,000 people were identified by the system in its first ten months of its operation. Now, Intellifusion, who created the system, is planning to send warnings by WeChat and Sina Weibo messages; repeat offenders will get their social credit scores docked.
Yes, that’s right: social credit. Much more insidious than a fine, having a low social credit rating means that you can’t travel.
Certainly something to think about when you hear people talking about ‘smart cities of the future’.
(related: 99% Invisible podcast on the invention of ‘jaywalking’)