Urban science becomes a major, Airbnb gets into disaster recovery, and more governments turn to the gig economy— This Week’s Top 10 Reads from a Chief Innovation Officer

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After a two-week sabbatical, the Top 10 reads from a Chief Innovation Officer are back! 🔮

Each week, I read over 100 articles so you don’t have to — Here are the top 10 you should read over the weekend and why they matter for government. Let’s dive in —

🚙 Connected Cars Can Lie, Posing a New Threat to Smart Cities http://bit.ly/2M93RIo (H/T Rob Lloyd)

👉 More Governments Turning to Gig Economy for Help http://bit.ly/2LGHQAo

💡 Economies can’t ignore human needs if they want to benefit from automation http://bit.ly/2sLDOy2

📹 DJI is partnering with Axon to sell video-capable drones directly to cops http://bit.ly/2JjcWMN

📱 Apple’s Plans to Bring Artificial Intelligence to Your Phone http://bit.ly/2JqluSo

💼 Cities’ Role in the Future of the Workforce http://bit.ly/2sEIJl4

🎓 Urban Science major at MIT: combining urban planning and computer science. We will see more and more of these programs. https://t.co/GI7Sgw0dmm (H/T Nader Afzalan)

🤖 Robots that repair roads in just a minute could fix Britain’s pothole problem http://bit.ly/2Mni0Bc

📑 Jane.ai raises $8.4 million for an enterprise chatbot that can search through emails, files, and more http://bit.ly/2JEW8jE

⚠️ Airbnb Is Testing a New Service To Improve Emergency Preparedness https://for.tn/2t3dcsH

The Bottom Line —

Just in case you don’t have time to read each article, here are the key takeaways and why each one matters for government:

🚙 Connected Cars Can Lie, Posing a New Threat to Smart Cities http://bit.ly/2M93RIo (H/T Rob Lloyd)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Smart transit is a major focus area for many cities across the globe, and researchers have identified that the connected car ecosystem can also be manipulated, creating new threats to smart cities.

Just one car that’s transmitting fake data can cause enormous traffic jams, and several attack cars could work together to shut down whole areas. What’s particularly concerning is that our research has found the weakness is not in the underlying communication technology, but in the algorithms actually used to manage the traffic flow. (GovTech)

For government agencies, partnerships will need to be built with industry partners to ensure that as smart technologies become more ubiquitous in transit, we find ways to mitigate and prevent algorithmic manipulation.

👉 More Governments Turning to Gig Economy for Help http://bit.ly/2LGHQAo

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: One of the largest challenges in state and local government is centered around the workforce. Agencies are struggling to hire and retain talent with new skillsets to solve the pressing challenges of today and prepare for what’s around the corner. One way agencies are mitigating this issue is to tap into a growing talent pool with the gig economy. Essentially, gig economy workers are contractors (or freelancers) that are hired to perform a given task or one-time job or gig. Companies like Uber and Lyft have made this model a new norm, but research indicates government is also getting into the game — and quickly.

 

For government agencies, this is an important trend to watch because the future of work is increasingly looking less like an 8–5 job, and more like a flexible work arrangement where you hire the right person at the right time to complete a job.

💡 Economies can’t ignore human needs if they want to benefit from automation http://bit.ly/2sLDOy2

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was an interesting talk given by Daron Acemoglu at MIT’s EmTech Next conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The core of his message is around the fact that AI will impact the labor market in different ways.

Different technologies affect the labor market in different ways. “Enabling technologies” — which enable workers to be more productive in the tasks they were performing before — increase wages and labor demand, according to Acemoglu. Think of the ways that computer-aided-design (CAD) software helps designers draw with more precision. (MIT Tech Review)

The good news? We have an opportunity to shape it by modernizing our institutions, starting with education.

Modernizing our institutions will enable more people to benefit from technology gains, Acemoglu contends. He is especially focused on overhauling the education system, which he says is one-size-fits-all and hasn’t changed much since the 19th century. (MIT Tech Review)

For government agencies, this is a good reminder to explore ways to use disruptive technologies like AI not as a way to replace people, but as a way to augment people and meet their fundamental human needs.

📹 DJI is partnering with Axon to sell video-capable drones directly to cops http://bit.ly/2JjcWMN

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In a major move in State and Local Government, the popular drone maker, DJI, announced they were partnering with Axon to sell video-capable drones directly to law enforcement agencies. This is a strategic relationship that goes beyond just providing a contract vehicle to DJI because it also enables one of the major players in body-worn cameras a drone partner to develop new use-cases with. For government agencies, this is the beginning of more drone-enabled use-cases like the City of Louisville’s automated drone dispatching pilot, that will revolutionize not just how we capture video, but how we deliver services government.

📱 Apple’s Plans to Bring Artificial Intelligence to Your Phone http://bit.ly/2JqluSo

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In Apple’s recent annual developer’s conference, WWDC, they unveiled Create ML — a new toolset to help developers embed machine learning capabilities into their apps. This is further proof that machine learning and artificial intelligence development will continue to be democratized by platform companies like Apple and Google — requiring less data science expertise. For government agencies, frameworks like this provide a foundation of extending new capabilities into government services without the need for expertise or costly development cycles.

💼 Cities’ Role in the Future of the Workforce http://bit.ly/2sEIJl4

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: This was a great read by Stephen Goldsmith about the role of cities in the future of work. Goldsmith argues that cities need to embrace their role and modernize their workforce development tools for the future.

City halls and regional economic development organizations have an important role to play in developing jobs and helping workers navigate the uncertainty of the current labor market. However, many of the workforce development tools that have been available to them originated from a social service point of view — how to help unemployed or underemployed individuals. (Goldsmith)

For government agencies, we need to look to examples like Imagine Pittsburgh and New York City’s Talent Pipeline as inspiration to address the increasing skills and work gap that will undeniably change the workforce in the not-to-distant future.

🎓 Urban Science major at MIT: combining urban planning and computer science. We will see more and more of these programs. https://t.co/GI7Sgw0dmm (H/T Nader Afzalan)

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: The future is moving faster than ever, and many existing ways of educating urban planners (and other city-focused degrees) is no longer as relevant for the era we live in. As a result, MIT recently announced a new degree program that blends computer science and urban planning into a single discipline.

Combining urban planning and public policy, design and visualization, data analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, pervasive sensor technology, robotics, and other aspects of both computer science and city planning, the program will reflect how urban scientists are making sense of cities and urban data in ways never before imagined — and using what they learn to reshape the world in real-time. (MIT)

For government agencies, it’s important to note that new disciplines and skills will be required to solve the problems of the future — and this new hybrid degree is something I anticipate other universities to begin to adapt their degree programs as cities evolve with the rise of artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, and many other exponential technologies.

🤖 Robots that repair roads in just a minute could fix Britain’s pothole problem http://bit.ly/2Mni0Bc

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: In another drone use-case, experts in the United Kingdom believe the future of pothole repairs is by a fleet of autonomous drones that can identify and repair (using 3D printing) potholes in a matter of minutes — and all while you sleep. It may sound like science fiction by the robots are scheduled to be tested on Leeds roadways in the next couple years as part of a 5-year plan between UCL and Leeds University. For government agencies, it will be important to follow and collaborate with pilots like these in order to better optimize government service delivery in the future.

📑 Jane.ai raises $8.4 million for an enterprise chatbot that can search through emails, files, and more http://bit.ly/2JEW8jE

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: There are countless AI startups that are impacting every industry across the world — but Jane.ai caught my attention as one that could help government agencies solve the digital paper overload. Using AI to catalog the backend information architecture and a conversational interface on the front-end, you can query complex volumes of information just like you were texting a co-worker for them to send it to you. The lesson here for government agencies is that although Jane.ai is not specifically targeting government as a customer, there is an adjacent application that has the ability to solve a major public sector problem. There are many other adjacent applications that also have potential in government so don’t be afraid to help companies understand the value of working with the public sector by being a pilot or proof of concept of a new technology or services.

⚠️ Airbnb Is Testing a New Service To Improve Emergency Preparedness https://for.tn/2t3dcsH

🏛 Why it Matters for Government: Airbnb was once a company that cities fought to prevent short-term rentals but it’s now solidified it’s place as a valuable economic partner. One of the byproducts of Airbnb’s network is that it can also serve as a pre-mapped network of available properties and rooms during an emergency situation. The program is called Open Homes — and is a way for existing Airbnb host to offer up their space for free to people most in need in disaster situations.

Through Open Homes, hosts have already offered temporary housing to over 11,000 people displaced by natural disasters, conflict, or illness. Your extra space can turn into a meaningful experience, not just for someone in need, but also for your community, family, and self. (Airbnb Website)

For government agencies, this is a great pre-mapped infrastructure that can be leveraged during disaster situations — and agencies should look for opportunities to work with Airbnb to partner to make it more advance for emergency situations.

Read the full Article on Medium.