Sidewalk Labs: Google has created an online empire by measuring everything: clikcs, GPS coordinates, visits, traffic, etc.
The company's resources are information about you, which they record, package, pack, repack, and then use them to sell you things.
This global data power is coming to the real world as well. Google is building a city.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Toronto Municipal Authority announced that Sidewalk Labs, a a subsidiary of Alphabet, θα βοηθήσει στην ανάπλαση 12 στρεμμάτων της νοτιοανατολικής προκυμαίας. Σήμερα η περιοχή φιλοknowνεί μερικά βιομηχανικά κτίρια και μερικές θέσεις στάθμευσης.
Μέσα σε λίγα χρόνια, θα δημιουργηθεί μια technique κοινότητα που θα ονομάζεται Quayside. Η Sidewalk Labs έχει ήδη διαθέσει 50 εκατομμύρια δολάρια στο project και η Google ετοιμάζεται να μεταφέρει την έδρα της στην συγκεκριμένη περιοχή του Τορόντο.
Once the company delivers the project, it plans to expand the regeneration of the entire area occupying an area of 800 acres.
It will be Google's neighborhood, built from scratch. Sidewalk Labs promises to integrate all kinds of sensors everywhere, recording all information about traffic flow, noise levels, air quality, usage energy, travel and waste.
The cameras will help the company collect data to answer much more vague questions: Did the residents using a particular clinic get sick in a flu season? Is this corner the best place to create a grocery store? Will it work with local buyers or others coming from a different neighborhood?
Sidewalk Labs seems to be well aware of the weaknesses of city-building technologists and their arrogant optimism. The company insists: This redevelopment will be extremely careful.
"This is not a random activity on our part," Alphabet President Eric Schmidt said Tuesday.
"It's the culmination, on our part, of almost 10 years of thinking about how technology can improve people's lives."
The vision of the company dominates the fantastic. The proposal for the redevelopment of the waterfront neighborhood outlines a community where everyone will have their own account:
“Μια εξαιρετικά safeς, εξατομικευμένη πύλη μέσω της οποίας κάθε κάτοικος θα έχει πρόσβαση σε δημόσιες υπηρεσίες και στον δημόσιο τομέα.”
He can use his account to go to the gym, or to open the door of his home to the plumbing while he is in his job.
A mapping application will "record the location of all parts of the public space in real time." The construction will give priority to walkers and cyclists, and not to cars, although there will be shared "taxis" and "vanbots".
It will test a new housing concept called Loft for more flexible spaces to be used for what the community needs. It will experiment with building materials such as plastic, prefabricated modules and timber in place of steel.
And yes, Sidewalk Labs says it is working on a comprehensive privacy plan.
We should mention that the Sidewalk Labs approach is based on observed events, and takes into account the data stored by humans. So building will be based on man and not on high planning principles.
Sidewalk Labs faces a particular challenge: to build a place that works for everyone. Alphabet is very good at collecting personal information to repackage them to sell things.
But things in this case include basic functions of the city, such as garbage collection, safe roads, or efficient public transport.
"I think the company needs to show that it can offer city services that are not limited to a few," said Sarah Kaufman of the Rudin Center for Transportation at New York University.
"This means that they have to serve the elderly, the disabled, and the poor - populations served by cities and private companies do not."
Sidewalk Labs insists it wants to do just that….