The Aretian co-founders participated in the second meeting of the Urban AI Think Tank
Jeremy Burke and Ramon Gras, Aretian’s co-founders, attended the second meeting of Urban AI, the first Think Tank focusing on AI to solve complex urban challenges. The topic of the meeting was “Urban AI and Data Governance: towards a new Social Contract”. Sandy Pentland is a preeminent leader in Computer Sciences and Network Theory currently directing the MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory at the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program, advisory to the World Economic Forum and has contributed to create and support several important companies and startups around the world. He was also named one of the “seven most powerful data scientists in the world” by Forbes.
During this meeting, Sandy Pentland described the importance of new institutions created in order to create better data ownership and rights. He expanded on the concept of data unions which could be created to protect data, fiduciary duty, and would not own the data collected but rather would act for the individuals sharing their own data. He also explained that diversity is one of the most important factors for economic growth within communities and cities, and that a freer flow of data would benefit populations and institutions. Lastly, he mentioned the fact that open algorithms and localizing the data would solve many issues while avoiding a “Big Brother” situation. The conversation continued with discussion from Stefaan Verhulst, Beatriz Botero, Lawrence Liew, Ana Brandusescu and Aurel Von Richthofen. As the first discussion with the Urban AI group, it is exciting to see the members coming together to discuss important issues surrounding the use of data in urban environments and our social contract.