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Embracing AI: A Call to Action for Local Governments in the United States in 2024

George Burciaga w/ The U.S. Roundtable, LLC.

Embracing AI: Transforming Local Governments in 2024

It's incumbent upon cities to use data, artificial intelligence, new technologies in order to maximize the public safety resources that we have.”
— Mayor Aftab Pureval, City of Cincinnati
CHICAGO, IL, UNITED STATES, February 1, 2024 / -- As we stand at the dawn of 2024, the urgency for American local governments to harness the accelerating pace of technological advancements, especially Artificial Intelligence (AI), has never been more critical. This transformation is not just a pathway to innovation but a necessity to address the pressing challenges in public safety, homelessness, housing, and education. As a recipient of the Global Governance and Economy Award at the Smart City Expo World Congress 2023, I am supporting local governments to seize this moment for profound change.

Public Safety: A New Frontier with AI
The application of AI in public safety can revolutionize how cities approach crime and related services. Predictive policing, leveraging AI, is now being piloted in cities like Cincinnati and Los Angeles. These programs utilize data analysis, and AI tools to predict and create more accurate decisions, offering a proactive approach to public safety, speed of call direction, police time usage, co-response modeling (mental health and police), and better citizen engagement. In the context of rising crime rates in the U.S., stated there has been a 12% spike in violent crime in the last decade, so the role of AI becomes even more significant.

"It's incumbent upon cities to use data, artificial intelligence, new technologies in order to maximize the public safety resources that we have." said, Mayor Aftab Pureval, City of Cincinnati

In addition, AI-driven data fusion has become crucial in law enforcement. By consolidating data from multiple sources, AI provides a more comprehensive view of 911 calls, thereby enhancing investigative outcomes and fostering public trust.

AI in Urban Management: Beyond Policing
Smart cities are not just about safety but also about sustainability and efficiency. AI-driven solutions in surveillance and incident management are proving to be invaluable. Which also include rapid identification and response, transforming the traditional surveillance into a proactive tool for urban safety.

The Housing and Homelessness Crisis: AI as a Tool for Change
AI's potential extends to supporting the housing and homelessness crisis. The latest figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) show that approximately 653,104 people were experiencing homelessness in 2023 – a staggering 12% increase from 2022 and the highest number reported since reporting began in 2007. By analyzing patterns and predicting trends, AI can assist in the allocation of resources and the development of targeted interventions. This data-driven approach can significantly impact decision-making processes, ensuring that resources are utilized efficiently to address these critical issues.

Education and Social Equity: The Role of AI
The use of AI in education is a powerful tool to bridge the gap in underserved communities. By providing personalized learning experiences and identifying areas needing intervention, AI can play a pivotal role in creating social equity through education. This advancement is crucial for the United States to maintain its competitive edge and address the underlying issues that contribute to societal disparities.

The Path Forward: Integration and Collaboration
Local governments must embrace a collaborative approach, piloting AI technologies across different sectors. This requires a shift in procurement practices and the adoption of flexible, innovative strategies. The key lies in fostering partnerships between the public and private sectors, ensuring that the deployment of AI technologies is not just effective but also ethical and transparent.

Conclusion: A Human-Centric Approach to Technological Advancement
As we embark on this transformative journey, it is imperative to remember that technology is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The true measure of our success will be how well we use AI to enhance the quality of life for all people, ensuring that our cities are not only smart but also inclusive, safe, and equitable. The time for action is now. We must move swiftly and purposefully, using AI not just as a tool for technological advancement, but as a beacon for human progress.

George Burciaga is an internationally recognized leader in digital transformation for cities. His work in enhancing citizen engagement and transforming city infrastructure is well-documented and highly respected globally. As Managing Partner at The U.S. Roundtable, LLC and a partner of Elevate Cities, George continues to drive innovative solutions for urban challenges.

This article reflects the views and insights of George Burciaga, based on his extensive experience and achievements in the field of urban innovation and smart city development.

Serena Guzman
The U.S. Roundtable
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