Introducing AI into urban studies

Cugurullo, Federico; Caprotti, Federico; Cook, Matthew; Karvonen, Andrew; McGuirk, Pauline and Marvin, Simon (2024). Introducing AI into urban studies. In: Cugurullo, Federico; Caprotti, Federico; Cook, Matthew; Karvonen, Andrew; McGuirk, Pauline and Marvin, Simon eds. Artificial Intelligence and the City: Urbanistic Perspectives on AI. Routledge, pp. 1–19.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003365877-1

Abstract

Innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming cities in unprecedented ways. In this chapter, we unpack the connections between AI and the urban by introducing the concept of urban AI and reflecting on its most prominent incarnations: autonomous vehicles, urban robots, city brains and urban software agents. We then illustrate how the emergence of urban AI is producing a new urbanism that we term AI urbanism. AI urbanism originates from smart urbanism but also departs from it along three main axes, namely function, presence and agency. We discuss the similarities and differences underpinning AI and smart urbanism, highlight the problematic implications of human–machine interactions in the making and governance of cities and, finally, call on urbanists and urban stakeholders to scrutinize the critical intersections between urban development and the development of artificial intelligences.

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