As AI services continue to grow in number, it’s also clear that complementary policies will need to develop in tandem. The open-source movement will continue to promote open data availability and shared standards for organization and data analysis, but debates will be had over what data should stay in private hands. Cities, states, and national governments will continue to debate the appropriate amount of personal privacy in a digitized world, as is the ongoing case with the Sidewalk Toronto project. We’re likely to see more cyberattacks against public infrastructure systems as cities continue their digital security build-out.

Continued experimentation with pilot AI projects and complementary policies are essential to build digital cities that benefit all people. But to deliver such shared prosperity, AI is only a secondary intervention. The first step is the same as it always was, no matter the technological era: Local leadership, from civic groups to elected officials to the business community, must collaborate to codify the shared challenges cities want technology to address. It’s only with a common sense of purpose that cities can tap AI’s full promise.

  • 1. This report is part of "A Blueprint for the Future of AI," a series from the Brookings Institution that analyzes the new challenges and potential policy solutions introduced by artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.