By 2040, about two-thirds of the world's population will be concentrated in urban centers. Over the decades ahead, 90 percent of this urban population growth is predicted to flourish across Asia and Africa. Already, 1,000 smart city pilots are under construction or in their final urban planning stages across the globe, driving forward countless visions of the future. As data becomes the gold of the 21st century, centralized databases and hyper-connected infrastructures will enable everything from sentient cities that respond to data inputs in real time to smart public services that revolutionize modern governance. Connecting countless industries--real estate, energy, sensors and networks, and transportation, among others--tomorrow's cities pose no end of creative possibilities and stand to completely transform the human experience.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is finding its way into more and more aspects of our daily lives. It is in the algorithms designed to improve our health diagnostics. And it is used in the predictive policing tools used by the police to fight crime. Each of these examples throws up potential problems when it comes to the protection of our human rights. Predictive policing, if not correctly designed, can lead to discrimination based on race, gender or ethnicity.
It's a fact of life that most of us are going to be living in cities. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 68 percent of the world's population will live in cities by the year 2050. Research by U.S.-based McKinsey & Company shows that by 2025, 600 cities around the globe will together generate 60 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP). Currently, there are 29 cities worldwide with populations of more than 10 million people, and cities use between 60 percent and 80 percent of the world's energy. Lighting alone accounts for up to 19 percent of the world's electricity consumption.
By 2050, 68 percent of the total global population will live in cities, according to the United Nations. By then, the world population will be 9.7 billion and 11.2 billion by 2100. The updated report from the United Nations states that currently, 55 percent of the world's population lives in urban areas. That means around 2.5 billion more people will be living in cities by 2050. India, China, and Nigeria combined will represent 35 percent of the projected urban population growth between 2018 and 2050.