In a research conducted by the Oliver Wyman Forum, 105 international cities were ranked on their preparedness for the digital and technological disruption fuelled by AI.
The index ranks the cities on the basis of four key criteria: the quality of a city’s plan (vision), the extent and quality of talent, education, and infrastructure (asset base), a city’s ability to execute on forward-looking plans (activation), and how the interplay of activation and asset base are impacting its overall momentum (trajectory).
Singapore, with an average score of 75.8 out of 100, showed the most readiness overall, surpassing New York (72.7), London (75.6), San Francisco (71.9), Stockholm (70.4), Paris (71.0), Boston (68.5), Amsterdam (68.6), Sydney (67.3) and Berlin (67.3).
One of the key finding from the study is that smaller cities can also be as competitive technology wise just as the megacities like New York, London and Paris,which have well scaled business communities and talent pools. As a matter of fact, half of the top 10 cities – Boston, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Stockholm and Sydney – have fewer than 5 million residents.
However, the study says that still many improvements need to be made in order for these cities to be completely ready for the impacts of next-generation technology. Oliver Wyman finds that none of the reviewed cities made it to top 20 across all four criteria.
According to Timocin Pervane, co-leader of the Oliver Wyman Forum’s City Readiness initiative, most of the cities have not even yet addressed the societal changes triggered by Artificial Intelligence and other technology.
“Most cities plan to use AI to become ‘smart cities’ or the next Silicon Valley, but few focus on the bigger, strategic social and economic opportunities and challenges, such as the need to retrain people who may be forced to look for new work as a result of the broad deployment of AI,” said Pervane.
The IMD Smart City Index 2019, which ranks 102 cities worldwide based on their efforts and success in implementing smart technologies to enhance the lives of their citizens, named Singapore as ‘the smartest city in 2019’. This study recognised the city for utilising technology to improve the quality of life.
The Land Transport Authority has also announced that by 2020 all payments for public transport in Singapore will be done through digital channels only. Already in place, a public-private initiative has allowed over 500 hawkers in the city-state to accept cashless payments.