Podcast: Orange Silicon Valley's Will Barkis on Smart Cities

Will Barkis leads the Smart Cities portfolio at Orange Silicon Valley's innovation lab and he spoke to Light Reading's Kelsey Ziser and Phil Harvey about the potential benefits and privacy worries surrounding computer vision, and what happens when municipalities begin using AI for work such as facial recognition.

Is there a market for smart cities for service providers? Yes, but it depends on where the city is, who the service provider is and what the citizens are willing to put up with, Barkis said. There are no easy answers and that's why the examples of smart city applications are few and far between when compared to the volumes of hype about what's possible by interconnecting transit systems, cameras, utilities and other major city systems.

Another issue we hit on is whether service providers have some advantage in the minds of consumers. Are they more trusted than the newer, Internet-based kids on the block? That, too, is a tricky discussion. Telecom services have evolved by asking consumers to pay for new services with an implicit understanding of what you get for your money. Internet-based firms aren't necessarily using that model; they may want data as the main currency and, if so, "it's very important to consider how people expect their data to be used," when cities are considering new smart city applications, Barkis said.

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