Rio Becomes the World's First 'Smart City'
IBM has built a fully integrated control center that monitors Rio de Janeiro like no other city in the world, collecting and analyzing data to help prevent catastrophe and create a more livable metropolis.
What's the Latest Development?
Rio de Janeiro has become tomorrow's city, today. Using a central control station which collects and computes data from all over the city, Rio's government, along with technology developed at IBM, wants to stop disasters before they occur and make the metropolis a better place to live. That means creating a classification system for problems and a step-by-step process for how to deal with them. IBM's system can also determine where car accidents tend to occur, predict flooding and coordinate emergency response activities.
What's the Big Idea?
By 2050, it is estimated that 75 percent of the world's population will live in cities. In order to make them safer and more pleasant places, technologists are betting on data collection powered by computer algorithms. For information companies, the stakes are high: "The market to supply cities with 'smart' systems is expected to reach $57 billion by 2014, according to IDC Government Insights, a market research firm." As the world, and its cities, increase in complexity, the more necessary easy methods to coordinate the chaos become.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
The Russian-built FEDOR was launched on a mission to help ISS astronauts.
Most people think human extinction would be bad. These people aren't philosophers.
- A new opinion piece in The New York Times argues that humanity is so horrible to other forms of life that our extinction wouldn't be all that bad, morally speaking.
- The author, Dr. Todd May, is a philosopher who is known for advising the writers of The Good Place.
- The idea of human extinction is a big one, with lots of disagreement on its moral value.
Picking up where we left off a year ago, a conversation about the homeostatic imperative as it plays out in everything from bacteria to pharmaceutical companies—and how the marvelous apparatus of the human mind also gets us into all kinds of trouble.
- "Prior to nervous systems: no mind, no consciousness, no intention in the full sense of the term. After nervous systems, gradually we ascend to this possibility of having to this possibility of having minds, having consciousness, and having reasoning that allows us to arrive at some of these very interesting decisions."
- "We are fragile culturally and socially…but life is fragile to begin with. All that it takes is a little bit of bad luck in the management of those supports, and you're cooked…you can actually be cooked—with global warming!"