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US expert predicts AI technology will play a key role in securing ‘smart cities’

An AI expert employed by a leading US based computing firm has claimed that AI (Artificial Intelligence) will play a key role in securing 'smart cities' - as nations continue to pursue smart city initiatives, projects and programs on a global basis in order to improve urban living. AI can enable law enforcement units to predict where crime could potentially be carried out after collecting and subsequently analyzing data retrieved from sensors and cameras.

AI technologies have not yet matured to a point where it can predict an actual crime by a person, but automation undoubtedly removes the tedious and time consuming work of manually scanning. According to Dr. Simon See, a director at Nvidia's AI Technology Center in Singapore, AI's can predict the probability of a crime in a location by detecting anomalies and faces.

Dr. See was delivering a keynote address at a one-day conference on smart cities and innovation which was held at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy - when he made the remarks about AI. He said: "AI can predict the probability of crime in a location by detecting anomalies and faces. Predicting (actual) crime is not possible yet."

However, it's not only law enforcement that will serve to gain when advancements in AI are made available, as hackers will also be able to benefit. Dr. See added: "Hackers will also use AI to develop malware that morph and change along the way - that's the scary part."

The Singapore Government has allocated a whopping 22% of its technology budget for security as part of its attempts to combat cyber-attacks and cyber-crime. It will spend $528 million on security, which is the highest it has ever spent on security. A huge part of the security budget will go to the first Government Security Operation Centre which features AI and analytics to detect cyber threats. This all comes on the back of Singapore's aggressive digital pursuit to improve citizens' lives and grow in the future digital economy.

A leading researcher, at Singapore's Homeland Defense Program, Mr. Muhammad Faizal Abdul Rahman warned that crowdsourcing intelligence from real people must not be ignored. He said: "The other 'sensors' are people," citing the example of the SGSecure mobile app that enables citizens to be more involved.

Launched in September last year, the app allows citizens to report suspicious incidents or objects left unattended in public places. The app is part of the raft of measures introduced as part of a national movement aimed at getting people to stay united in the face of terror threats, and providing training on preventing and responding to attacks. The app can also broadcast important alerts during major emergencies.