Is the soul of a community reflected in the data is generates?

We have all heard the commentary about the huge leaps in technology made of the past few decades.  We have heard commentary on the amazing power of the computers we all carry around in our pockets and purses and the mind blowing quantity of data we are generating, and capturing, every second.

Today, we have computers in our pockets that are more powerful than the CRAY supercomputers from the 1980s (of which there were a handful, at a cost of millions for each one).  Our pocket computers are even more powerful in that they are all interconnected and contain a wide array of sensors that can capture everything from our heart rate, our location, and our habits.  Today, we can interconnect just about anything and have it report, in real time, what is going on.  The so called “Internet of things” and the subsequent application of Artificial Intelligence has the potential to change literally everything.

And this affects me how?

Some will say, “so what?”  or, “that’s concerning” or, “that’s incredible!”  I personally find myself saying all three, depending on the moment.  There are many ‘so what?’ technologies that have contributed to gadget and hype fatigue.  Remember the “smart” toaster”?  Probably not and for good reason, who needs a toaster that toasts the current weather on your toast? And we have all seen data used in concerning ways, such as Uber oversharing, and Facebook under monitoring it’s partners.  But, all in all, what we can do with connected technologies and data is nothing short of incredible.  All aspects of our lives will be improved as we get better at harnessing the power of distributed computing and the data these computers, large and tiny, can collect and use.

The soul of the community

The soul of any community is the people.  Understanding how the city (government, businesses, organizations) serves its residents and visitors and how, in turn, those people use the city is critical in making a city thrive and grow.

The Smart and Connected Data Project came about through the recognition that the world, more and more, is delivering personalized and responsive services using connected technologies and data and that our community must embrace these to ensure we lead the way, as we always have in Saint John, in embracing the future.

We know that this community has no shortages of challenges.  We also know that this community has no shortage of people who are problem solvers and leaders.  Our goal, through this project, is to establish ourselves as a leader, as a Smart community, not just because of the technology we deploy, but because of the people that are stepping up to make us Smarter.

We need you!

We look forward as a team to working with our partners including the City of Saint John, EY, T4G, Bell, Cisco, UNB, Province of NB, ACOA, and others to engage with YOU, as a community, to make Saint John a leader, not only in Canada, but in the world, in leveraging data to create new opportunities within our community.

Are you interested in Data, Software Development, or that just have interesting ideas that are data driven?  We are looking for partners that would like to work with us on projects that expertise in Data Science.  Do you know of any groups that would like to hear more about this project? Would you? Please let us know below!

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