Why Government Should Stimulate New Technology
As blockchain applications and platforms are trying to stimulate global adoption and mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies, IoT and AI, governments are still largely indecisive when it comes to loosening regulations, which is slowing down innovation. In the race towards technological dominance, European policy makers would do well to encourage governmental stimulation so as to not fall behind China.
In an article written by Maciej Kranz, Forbes Technology Council contributor, we are provided with a clear picture of how governmental stimulation can accelerate the development of new technology. The article takes a very in-depth look at the rise of IoT in the Republic of China and, more importantly, what lessons the West can learn from this.
In a nutshell, Kranz argues that the Chinese top-down IoT policies enable the governments to function as “regulators, agenda setters and technology adopters.” This tactic is not merely limited to IoT, as an article posted by the South China Morning Post in November 2017 proves.
The online newspaper proudly announces that the Chinese government has “named its first batch of national champions in artificial intelligence as partners in an ambitious strategy to accelerate the country towards global technology leadership.” Among these champions are some of the most prominent Chinese internet companies, such as Baidu, the Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings — otherwise known as “BAT”.
In 2015 the Alibaba Group started working on the City Brain project, which was originally presented as solution for heavy traffic congestion. Given the Government’s desire to decrease this, they started working together with Alibaba’s cloud computing program. After seeing an increase in traffic speeds by 15 percent in the city of Hangzhou after the first year, the company rolled out the City Brain project in the rest of the city as well.
The speed in which this project was developed and realized is staggering, and it speaks to the upside of having governmental backing when it comes to new technology. This is not to say that there aren’t downsides in this specific case.
Hundreds of thousands of cameras are constantly monitoring the streets. Artificial intelligence gathers data, which is then processed by supercomputers and distributed to relevant systems all across the city. That means constant surveillance, something that the Chinese might be used to, but also something that others might view as methods befitting of a police state instead of a technologically driven nation.
Disregarding potential motives behind the project, we love how real-time data is being used to correct issues in urban operations. When such technology is put in the hands of those with sustainable ambitions and a privacy-protective nature, the sky is the limit.
In order to keep up with his lighting quick innovation, the European Union has to look into ways of supporting local companies that are contributing to the 4th Industrial Revolution. As we have always stated: the government has a large and very important role to play in the years to come.
Rather than standing in the way of individual companies that are trying to lead technological advancements, governments need to start embracing revolutionary change instead of fearing it. That being said, we have a responsibility to remain vigilant. These technologies were originally designed to help improve the quality of life for citizens, and not cities.
At Parksen, we are certain that it is a matter of time before the EU starts properly guiding and utilizing tech-companies that want to create a healthier and more intelligent world. An efficient and transparent world. One we would be comfortable leaving to our future generations.
Let us become the change that we want to see in the world, together.
Content Manager at Parksen