Shrewd cities

surveillance/spectacle

It is not easy to come up against 500,000 cameras and sensors in all public places; even if one wanted to. If the gift of this giga-panopticon is absolute security then anyone who has objections can, at least for the time being, be accused of unsubstantial ideology…

Shanghai is the city with 500,000 mechanical “eyes”, sensors of all kinds, etc. It is a city of internet of things in live implementation. And of course it offers services. In municipal parking lots, for example, authorized users need to do nothing but drive: Face and license plate recognition cameras enable the boom barriers to automatically rise. Or, even in a minor car accident, the ambulance shows up in a short time to provide first aid. It goes without saying that in the 3,500 large buildings in the city where smoke and fire detectors have been installed, the fire brigade arrives before anyone even calls it…

The data management center has 5,000 servers with a total memory of 18 million megabytes; and 400 different algorithms. Shanghai’s 25 million residents must feel safe. All the more so that the five hundred thousand mechanical guards can become even six hundred or seven hundred thousand; and one million if needed…

Of course these come at a price: they can watch you from everywhere, whether you like it or not. But this becomes common – doesn’t it?

bytes & genes | cyborg #14 – 02/2019