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The expert seminar entitled "Artificial intelligence in the development of cities and metropolitan areas", which took place in Wroclaw, was the fifth in a series of seminars devoted to this topic. The event was attended by representatives of European metropolises who presented AI solutions implemented in their cities, as well as representatives of business, administration, and people dealing with public statistics.

- We are talking about values that are close to us not only in Europe but also around the world. These solutions that contribute to the development of technology and artificial intelligence can improve the quality of life and work for the sustainable development of our continent. However, for several weeks we have been in a permanent crisis and dealing with humanitarian aid for our neighbors from Ukraine. We are trying to provide them with maximum comfort and assistance. Such unexpected events change our perception and accelerate those processes that are necessary. Today we see that we need to reevaluate and accelerate with many actions.

- said Jakub Mazur, Vice Mayor of Wroclaw.

Machines with human intelligence?

The seminar participants discussed how artificial intelligence helps to manage cities and develop the business of modern enterprises.

- We are wondering how to use data and simulations to better manage cities. The subject of our research is how we can equip machines with intelligence, at least as much as that possessed by humans. Sometimes we also want to surpass this intelligence.

- says Dr. Tomasz Kajdanowicz, Head of the Artificial Intelligence Department at Wroclaw University of Science and Technology.
- An interesting project is the use of artificial intelligence in smart city management. Here we are building computer simulations, we are also developing the concept of Digital Twin, which will allow us to obtain data on processes occurring in the city, e.g., logistics. This will make it possible to optimize the use of available resources and better manage urban infrastructure, including transport.

- says Dr Maciej Pondel, Head of Department of Business Intelligence in Management at Poznan University of Economics.

New challenges related to the war in Ukraine

During the meeting the scientific potential of Wroclaw was also presented. It was also discussed how to use artificial intelligence in the fight against disinformation and how to use data and simulations to better manage the city. Examples of AI projects and implementations in European cities were also presented.

- We would like to be an important center when it comes to artificial intelligence not only in Poland, but also in Central Europe. Our ambitions and potential are great. We have the staff and technology, and what is the biggest challenge is the data we would like to obtain in order to be able to study various processes occurring in the city with the use of new technologies. However, today we have a completely new situation. Ahead of us is certainly the energy transition, which goes towards adaptation to climate change and energy dependence on Russia. The second challenge is the wave of refugees, which will increase. We need to figure out how to use it for the good of the city while helping the refugees themselves and how to avoid the associated risks. The third challenge is strengthening the city's sovereignty over various resources, such as food. We need to think about how to use new technologies, artificial intelligence, to deal with these challenges.

- said Łukasz Medeksza, deputy director of the City Development Strategy Department, City Hall of Wroclaw.

The priorities in the development of artificial intelligence have changed

One of the thematic blocks had a practical dimension - the winning solutions from the accompanying event - the AI Hackathon "Managing water in city with the support of artificial intelligence - opportunities, forecasts and optimization".

- Hackathon is a project where we put some problems to solve, and we expect an out-of-the-box solution. The main goal here is to obtain proposals for directions of development or ready-made solutions that can push us to stimulate innovation or creativity, which is sometimes difficult to find in our organizations

- said Dr. Tomasz Kajdanowicz.

According to the participants of the seminar, the priorities which were put before modern technologies in the recent past, have now changed somewhat.

- We talked about things that are extremely important because they are the things that give us opportunities for leaps in development, civilization, which are especially important now. The pandemic and the war we are witnessing have caused us to change the priorities we had a few years ago. It is good that we have such a richly networked scientific, business and local government environment in Wroclaw. I am glad that during this seminar it was once again confirmed

- concluded Jakub Mazur.
The organizers of the event are: City of Wroclaw, Municipal Water Supply and Sewage Company and Wroclaw Agglomeration Development Agency. PwC is a partner of the event.
The event is held under the honorary patronage of World Urban Forum 11 (WUF W Twoim Mieście).