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At the Smart City seminar, discussion included how technology and artificial intelligence are changing cities, housing and working. At the event, Posti presented properties’ “own Posti outlets”.

In smart cities of the future, technology must be harnessed for solving everyday problems

How will digitality change housing? What does artificial intelligence have to offer citizens? What are we actually talking about when we talk about smart cities?

These questions, among others, were pondered at the Smart City 2017 seminar held in Helsinki last October. According to the organizers, this two-day seminar attracted 300–400 participants and numerous partner companies. Themes included traffic, 5G and its opportunities, security and artificial intelligence.

This was the second time the event was organized, and it was sold out, which indicates that these themes interest different players. Based on the companies that took part in the seminar, smart cities are heavily reliant upon their construction, logistics and flow of information and are active in designing these.

Technology and artificial intelligence must be harnessed to help people

At the seminar, it was discussed how technology and artificial intelligence are changing cities, housing and working. But why exactly are we pondering all this?

icon-quote New innovations make smart city environments possible, which brings possibilities for both companies and the public sector,” states Eemeli Wang, the organizer of the Smart City 2017 seminar.

Sanj Juneja, director at Hitachi, reminded seminar participants that in just 25 years 70–75 percent of all the people in the world will live in cities. That is why it is worth harnessing technology and artificial intelligence to help growing cities. Urbanization will also generate a lot of new business opportunities.

Jouni Eho, business services director at Cursor, a development company in the Kotka-Hamina Region, pointed out in his statement that technology should be harnessed to solve local problems.

However, it is not only about technology, noted Taneli Tikka, head of innovation at Tieto Corporation.

icon-quote We should not talk about technology as if it was something glued on top,” Tikka stated during a panel discussion where experts discussed what the future of work will be like. According to panelists, most of all, it is about how technology or artificial intelligence can be harnessed to help people.

Laura Ansaharju, vice president at Finnair, said that, at Finnair, they prefer to say augmented intelligence when referring to artificial intelligence.

Consumers don´t look for technology but services that work

Could technology and artificial intelligence solve housing problems, too? In recent years, many construction companies have invested in developing housing services.

Sami Ranta, managing director at Verisure Finland, mentioned that smart services should be offered to customers, keeping in mind what kind of solutions they generate for customers, rather than just trying to sell technology.

We humans don´t desire complex technology for our homes but rather services that work well and make our everyday life easier and save us time.

One good example that was also presented at the Smart City event is the Smartpost parcel locker, developed jointly by Posti, builders and e-commerce, which makes the transfer of goods easier.

icon-quote Smartpost is actually stupid, and not an intelligent structure. Smartpost itself does not include any technology at all; all the intelligence in it has been constructed on the outside of the physical structure of Smartpost,” states Toni Laaksonen, vice president of Parcel Services at Posti.

The objective of Smartpost is that Smartpost parcel lockers can be installed nearly anywhere and that consumers find it as easy to use as possible. Smartpost is like having a Posti outlet on your property.


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