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Cloud computing and commuting, AI: talking smart cities at AWS

LAS VEGAS (NEWS 1130) – Driving to work is a burden for millions, but some cities are using the latest in cloud computing to improve their road networks.

A Canadian company is actually a leader in the field.

Sometimes you still see rubber lines on a road, counting cars. But now, high-definition cameras and sensors are moving the process from the stone-age to the cloud era.

“Technology that’s used in the industry is often 30 years or more old,” John Price, who is the technical lead at Miovision Technologies in Ontario, said from the Amazon Web Services conference in Las Vegas Thursday.

Thanks to the speed, simplicity, and low cost of the Cloud, analysis and changes that used to take years can now be done almost on the fly by smart cities.

“The traffic link detection unit is then fed by that video stream,” Price explains. “It actually performs computer vision algorithms against the video to identify cars as they’re going through and the pedestrians and the reason about what’s going on in the intersection in real-time.”

Artificial intelligence and daily life

Is artificial intelligence making life easier and safer at the expense of a total surveillance society?

Not everyone thinks so.

“I think AI has lots of different possibilities that are used everywhere from health benefits — personalized medicine, looking at our genetics and how cancer medicine can be tailored… side effects through to public safety, for example,” Glenn Gore, AWS director of Worldwide Solution Architecture, explains.

But when it comes to big decisions, Gore believes people won’t put AI in charge.

“It’s that personal touch that we actually want,” he admits.