As we start a new decade, it’s obvious that data is fueling innovation in cities around the world. . However, the explosion of simply too much data has propelled cities to embrace intelligent automation solutions powered by (AI) to extract better insights into city operations.
Intelligent automation leverages machine learning to transform structured and unstructured—(otherwise known as “messy”) data into actionable insights. Embedded AI recognizes people, content, and context. Many cities and counties are streamlining processes by building greater efficiency, visibility, and control into their operations with less manual intervention, reducing the potential for error, resulting in reduced costs and improved customer experience. The City of San Jose and the City of Las Vegas are embracing these technologies.
City of San Jose, California
A key priority for San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is to transform this diverse community of over one million residents into a “smart city.” Since 2016, San Jose has emerged as leader in partnering with industry to shift to agile and customer experience design methods, and incorporate responsive and data-driven technologies into municipal services.
A lead initiative is focused on simplifying service requests through digital service design. The “Awesome Customer Experience” project focused on customer experience, aiming to deliver omnichannel service access with a mobile app and portal, tight integration with work systems powering city departments, and a data lake to allow continuous service improvements—all in six months.
The app tapped into 200 contributors, from city employees to vendor partners and community members. The platform provided the city with its first 311 system and targeted the city’s six leading service types. The results were striking: redundant calls were reduced by about 20%. More than 45,000 residents now use “My San Jose” to interface with their local government, giving officials a real-time dashboard of citizen requests. Also, the city is building more predictive services through the implementation of a data lake, a key component of machine learning and predictive service management. Staff have been able to prioritize resources for issues such as illegal dumping and abandoned vehicles.
City of Las Vegas, Nevada
As an innovation hub, have invested in intelligent automation for some city operations. The city started with automating the monitoring of internal financial IT operations, but has now expanded to observing functions from vehicle traffic information and public safety systems to network infrastructure and trash collection. Citizens can access city services through Alexa and other digital assistants. Furthermore, Las Vegas has applied AI to its connected and autonomous vehicle initiatives in its downtown area. Lyft is running trials with 40 autonomous cars, and latest-model Audi cars can also receive data feeds from the city.
Advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation, are fueling a new era of intelligent automation, which will continue to be an important driver of governing performance in the years to come. It is important for cities to understand and adopt intelligent automation to advance their smart cities strategy, or risk falling behind.