Solving Urban Problems Using AI: Report from the Field Test Site in Singapore

Singapore is aiming to become the world's first Smart Nation that uses ICT to improve the lives of citizens and bolster local communities. Under this initiative, Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore Management University, and Fujitsu jointly established a new advanced research institute in October 2014, and since then, we have been working to solve urban problems making the most of ICT.

How can people's behavior be changed using ICT?

On August 9, 2016, the National Day in Singapore, in conjunction with the event that attracted some 60,000 people to a stadium, a field test was conducted at a neighboring shopping mall. It aimed at alleviating congestion making effective use of AI (Artificial Intelligence).

The field test began with the advance distribution of smartphone applications to some of the people who participated in the stadium event.

AI learned a large amount of complicated data on such topics as transportation modes, preferences of individuals, and effects of incentives for prediction. Based on the results of studies, the applications encouraged the participants to use different transportation modes when returning to their homes and to go home at different times by recommending suitable transportation modes and guiding them to the shopping mall. Thus the project verified whether it had actually been able to guide the behavior of people.

As described above, the world's first attempt to relieve congestion by guiding the behavior of people using AI is being put to practical use. Fujitsu plans to use the data analytics and mobility management technologies and knowledge gained from these experiments for AI technology "Zinrai" and cloud service "SPATIOWL". It will provide these technologies and knowledge to customers such as city governments and shopping mall operators who are faced with similar problems.

This project is being carried out under the leadership of Innovation Business Development Unit of Fujitsu and Applied Innovation Research Center of Fujitsu Laboratories. A large number of people, including not only members stationed in Singapore but also those who travel there from Japan on business trips or join them through telephone or video conferencing, are working as one to support the project in various ways across national boundaries.

A scene from the Singapore-Japan project conference.