AI and Smart Cities

Nowadays more than 50 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas and this number is expected to increase to 68 per cent by 2050.

Urbanization brings a lot of benefits for society, including better access to health care, opportunities for education, better jobs and higher salaries. But from the other hand it also associated with societal and environmental challenges such as: pollution due to poor collection of waste and traffic congestion, greater poverty and consequently higher crime rates and price of living in big city always higher that in rural areas.

How to overcome these challenges?

Across the globe cities are using smart city technology which is used to manage assets and resources efficiently. The technology is mainly based on data collection from citizens, devices, schools, hospitals, information about traffic and transportation systems, using huge number of physical devices connected to network. Smart city technology generates giant amount of data. But this technology  is just a tool which supports city officials during decision-making process.While artificial intelligence is able to turn this data into insight.

In general, machine learning based tools can change smart cities to even smarter and it can play a key role in various applications.Firstly, it can help to reduce driving time in a city using adaptive signal control, it uses real time data to change the timing on traffic lights to adjust to the flow of traffic. Adaptive signal control is expected to improve travel time by more that 10% in some areas by 50%. Furthermore, the technology can reduce amount of wasted fuel and increase productivity.

Secondly, AI can be used in video surveillance for recognizing humans, vehicles and different objects. For instance, it may help police to spot crimes and accidents  faster. Moreover video surveillance with AI can help find stolen cars, check whether your insurance is expired or not by reading licence plates only and it can check 1800 number plates in one minute across four lines of traffic and inform police almost immediately. What is more due to AI technology, predictive policing becomes more sophisticated nowadays. Based on simple predictive patterns like  payday+ alcohol=problems, predictive systems can play important roles in crimes prevention and fighting gang violence.From economic point of view automatization in cities can save governments  more that 40 billions USD 

In conclusion, all this innovations can extremely improve quality of live in our cities and make them more sustainable. But we should be aware that AI is relatively new technology and it is might be unpredictable.

Would you like to live in a city run by AI ?



Will your phone tell you if you are depressed?

As we are using our phone all the time, it is with us through all our daily moods. What if our smart device could detect symptoms of our mental health problem?

As we all know, depression is a serious disease and according to the World Health Organization 2018 research more than 300 million people suffer from it. When you’re dealing with depression, it isn’t all in your head. It can disrupt sleep, regular eating and being social and active.

AI algorithms in our phones (identifying faces, responding to voices) can now spot the early signs of depression and even help in getting treatment when it’s needed!

In study carried by Stanford University team, video footage of depressed and non-depressed people was fed into machine – learning. It was trained to learn from verbal and non-verbal speech (facial expression, spoken words) and detect whether the person is depressed or not. In testing, it worked more than 80% of the time.


“Compared to physical illnesses, mental disorders are more difficult to detect,” the researchers write in a paper that is being presented at the NeurIPS AI conference in Montreal this week. “The burden of mental health is exacerbated by barriers to care such as social stigma, financial cost, and a lack of accessible treatment options […] This technology could be deployed to cell phones worldwide and facilitate low-cost universal access to mental health care.”



The researchers say that the studies are in their early stage and caution that the technology wouldn’t be a replacement for clinician.


According to the article from 14th of January 2018 on TedFellows, there already is such an app that helps in monitoring depression signs.  It’s called HealthRythms and it uses mobile phone data and also gives doctors insight into their patient’s mental health. How does it work? The app monitors people’s way of using their phone (how long they sleep, where do they go, what apps do they use, what are their typing habits etc.) With such data, HealthRhythms detects when routines get disrupted, which can lead to depression.


There are more apps which are detecting mental health problems like “Purple Robot”, and these ones, which are helping with fighting already detected depression like “Moodkit” or “Talklife”.

Technology is definitely helping us with digitalizing and fastening the process of recognizing symptoms of diseases. I think that is a great way of using AI which can help people directly and raise their awareness of how serious our mental problem can be and how can it affect our life.




Michelins revolutionary tire

Michelin, the French tire manufacturer has recently presented what they think will replace currnent rubber tires used by everyone.

On their Movin’ On conference in Montreal they showed what they say is not only a concept but something they can achive in a couple of years. This new strange looking tire is inspired by coral.

As you can see it does not require any air at all and it is supposed to be made out of materials that are bio-sourced or biodegradable, such as: bamboo, wood tin cans or used materials. They want you to have only one set of tires that will last forever, but of course that seems a bit impossible because as we all know tires tend to run out of tread. That’s where this concept breaks conventional ways even more. Michelin will fit those with RFID sensors that will monitor usage of your tires, modern cars also come with this technology, but in this case you will reprint your tire. In dedicated stations or even at home you can rebuid your tread or even change it to suit current road conditions.

By using machinery provided by Michelin you can choose whatever tread you can find. For example you want to go off-roading and you leave your home with tires that only match driving on tarmac, you can stop on your way to your destination reprint the tire and continue as if nothing happened. This fits into a trend in automotive world that includes reinventing everything that we have in our cars. Because technology is developing extremely fast it can be slowly applied into different areas of our life. Michelin presented us with this concept with autonomous cars in mind. Where the whole reprinting would be planned by your computer while you do not have to even touch the steering wheel. Even though this is quite a brilliant idea, it saves a lot of resources, is more eco-friendly than regular tires and probably will save you money in the long run it has some difficulties to face. For instance one of the aspects that one of the executives has mentioned was preventing the tire from degradation while it is in use. It will also need a big network of reprinting stations and it may take some time to develop those. This solution will drastically change the way tire manufacturers operate, they can sell only one set of tires to one customer and then base their profits on materials or services provided to keep those tires on the road. Overall this concept is one of few I think we will see in the near future. Michelin predicts that they may be able to send this into production in 2023.



Is IOTA the cryptocurrency of the future ?

My last post was about Internet of things, now I would like to continue in related topic. First thing what is Iota?

As it’s written on their own site, this is  ledger that is being built to power future of internet of things. Well, this is nothing but, transactional settlement and data transfer layer. It depends on “tangle” system, and has some similarities and differences  from blockchain. It offers new way of making transactions in decentralized paying system.


In last post I’ve mentioned about smart cities, it sounds perfect but is impossible without new way of fast payments. That’s actually where iota wants to conquer against bitcoin and where, we find biggest differences. Blockchain currencies(ex. Bitcoin)usually, reach transactional price > 40$ . In smart cities most of the transactions are between internet-connected devices, those are the nanotransactions and reaches below 40$. Such payments needs to happen immediately. But first, let’s make a quick reminder what the bitcoin is and we will compare it to iota.

In bitcoin [blockchain technology]  transactions are verified by miners, who found proper algorithm of numbers. But It requires big computing power, and becoming more and more problematic. Blockchain technology is getting slower, when more transactions are made. It is a  free process.

In iota [tangle technology]  transaction creator require two last transactions to approve current one. This all happens in network that is getting bigger after each transaction and more safety. It doesn’t require any miners, and not that much computing power. If in the net there are more transactions, it gets faster. In this case more users means, more connections and more fluent working. This is why we can regard iota better than bitcoin.It is also free.




Iota discovered their own cryptographic hash function something like “ security system”, unfortunately they made few mistakes. Different inputs were hashing to the same output. This sounds like a primary school mistake,  it was coders fault. Nobody is perfect, and certainly there aren’t perfect solutions, this is an example that rolling your own currency always brings a risk 😉. However, their history isn’t that optimistic from the organisational side, the idea and technological aspect are fascinating and bring a lot positive hopes for the future. So I would like to say a little more about same tangle.

This looks quite like that:



I read at the web site of iota that it  is possible to store information within Tangle transactions, or even spread larger amounts of information in wide bounds  or during linked transactions. I can assume my admiration by the words:

“The more activity in ‘the Tangle’, the faster transactions can be confirmed.” – this is the tag line of what decentralized payment system is .

I don’t think that iota is going to be the currency of the future, but it doesn’t mean the direction they are aiming is wrong. In my opinion for next decade as the market of IOT( internet of things) will develop, the ideas as iota will gain more and more popularity. Maybe it is not time to invest in this concrete case, but it is worth to be aware of such a opportunity.



Flying cars are on the way!

Airbus and Audi partner for urban mobility services

Stock up on strong nerves as well as fat wallets to make use of the world’s first airborne automobiles on an industrial scale.

The idea of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) so far remains pie in the sky for someone, but it’s not for aviation giant Airbus, German car manufacturer Audi, and Italdesign design house. The trio collaborated to develop real, near-term urban mobility solutions for avoiding rush hour, unveiling a scale-model prototype of a flying drone-car called the “Pop.Up Next”. Why are we still obsessing, if there’s a chance just to fly over traffic jam that we are sick of?

“This important partnership with Audi addresses both current and future challenges for urban mobility. As a first concrete milestone in the cooperation we are developing, we will be offering multi-modal transportation solutions to the world’s most congested cities,” said Airbus CEO Tom Enders. “The world is rapidly urbanizing, and ground infrastructure alone cannot meet the demands of tomorrow. Increased congestion is pushing the cities’ transport systems to the limits, costing travellers and municipalities valuable time and money. Adding the sky as a third dimension to the urban transport networks is going to revolutionise the way we live – and Airbus is ready to shape and build that future of flight.”

airbus car drone conceptWell, the car-drone combo is made up of three separate modules, which allow customers to have a seamless and ultra-convenient travel experience. The key component is a capsule for passengers that is 2.5 meters long and 1.4 meters high. Its modular design means that it can easily unhook from its chassis with wheels and get airlifted by an accompanying drone, which is autonomous and powered by 4 rotors. The so-called cubicle can attach to a battery-powered chassis to become a two-seater electric car. Without the cubicle, the chassis can drive only 100 kilometers on a single charge, so we are faced with not a long-distance vehicle concept, unfortunately.

No less interesting is the fact that passengers can summon the drone using a phone app that can also suggest the best transport solutions as well as ride-sharing demand and relative cost. The capsule can even be paired with other futuristic transport systems, like the Hyperloop.

Despite the fact that the model’s test flight went off without a fault, Airbus executive Jean Brice Dumont is prudently optimistic about when the Pop.Up system will actually become a reality.

“I think it will take more than a decade until a real significant, massive deployment of an air taxi system” is ready, he said, and “for this we need to tick a list of boxes. The vehicle is one, safety is the overarching one, infrastructure is one, acceptability is another one.”


However, the serious competitor Uber turned out to be even more ambitious. Last year, the transportation company revealed an artist’s impression of a sleek machine with the goal to start using for demonstration flights of the year 2020 and by 2023 for actual use. Uber’s battery-powered aircraft looks like a blend of a small plane and a helicopter with fixed wings and rotors.

So, what to expect from state-of-the-art technology?

You must agree, that anxiety comes in this case by itself. The barrier standing between you and a future of commuting through the skies is bravery. The fact that you may feel uneasy in a flying car, that was once just a stupid dream from your childhood is hardly a shocker. That’s not to say that they’re unsafe, anyway, the parachute, of course, should help. You’re still going to have to entrust your life to a vehicle. And yet, the attractiveness of freedom and faster journeys might be sufficient for many people to roll the dice.


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5G network is on the horizon (at least in the USA)

5G logo

So far not many people have actually tested 5G network, but this will soon change. Verizon and AT&T are teaming up with Qualcomm, in order to present the newest cellular network technology. The rumours are that the network is going able to reach internet speeds over 1Gb/s, some say even up to 20Gb/s (while Poland averages at 27.57 Mb/s, that means 5G will be 31 times faster in the worst scenario). There are other benefits of 5G finally coming live. People predict unlimited cloud storage will become a standard, and so will on demand processing power. This might also revive smartbooks, which were laptops with built in cellular network. Additionally 5G is going to provide better (smaller) latency and most importantly for average internet users, some of the 4G (LTE) traffic will move over to 5G, which will allow LTE speeds to be faster. Industry specialists say, that 5G for video streaming will be what 4G was for music streaming. The technology is expected to be widely available in 2020.

internet speeds

Although 5G network has been deployed in many places all over the world (famously in Gliwice), these were small and medium city releases, and not many devices can use this network. So far there is one smartphone available, and it’s exclusive to Verizon (US carrier). Although many android phones which are expected to launch in the first quarter of 2019, are also expected to come with 5G technology “on board”. In the second quarter most of the phones are expected to have this technology as a standard. There are rumours that Apple isn’t going to launch 5G compatible device until 2020, but that nothing weird as they did the same thing with 3G (the original iPhone) and 4G (iPhone 4s) network releases.

Motorola Moto Z3 – first 5G compatible, available phone

5G technology seems very promising but it faces some challenges. First of all new network launches never match the expectations, so don’t bee too hyped when you first will be able to use this technology. Secondly the technology used actually limits the network. 5G radios aren’t compatible with 4G radios, so there is need for completely new infrastructure to be build.  Additionally the technology utilises milimeter radio waves. The main problems are that they are very bad at penetrating obstacles, such as walls, windows, your car roof and additionally they can be weakened by bad weather and they cover areas much smaller than 4G can. So to set up a 5G network, cellular providers need to buy radios and a ton of amplifiers, in order to maintain signal over a larger area.

5G network

5G is very promising, but also futuristic. It probably will allow for driverless cars seamless communication, and already allows for better smart home services. Bigger and faster data transfers can only be a good thing and also 5G network can allegedly handle four times the capacity of 4G network, so internet traffic shouldn’t be an issue in the future.

For me personally LTE is working very good, but I can’t complain about the development and can’t wait for what it will bring to our world.

Are you excited for 5G network, or 4G is just fine for you?



5G logo –

network speeds –

Motorola Moto Z3 –

5G network –

DOCOMO and Toyota T-HR3 Humanoid Robot Using 5G

        On November 29, 2018, NTT DOCOMO cooperating with Toyota Motor Corporation declared that they have created fully controlled the Toyota-developed T-HR3 humanoid robot, which uses 5G mobile communications. During the test robot was operated from a distance of around 10 kilometers in between two points, it was possible due to steering via 5G assistance.

The T-HR3 robot was presented almost year ago, but it was not put on test in remote control beyond lab conditions, because of the problem with lags. Toyota’s engineers solved also a problem connected with the long period of latency, which was noticeable matter in the old one. T-HR3 looks like taken out from Avatar movie and has almost the same steering system. 


Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 11.09.08 AM


This humanoid robot is able to go through the motions of plugged in human. Robot is equipped with balance sensors, which guarantee a stability and freedom of movement. Deployment of hydraulic gears imitating human’s joins is also a surprisingly clever solution, that gives possibility to mimic even gentle and precise moves. Toyota claims that this robot can be used in healthcare and homes, but a vast majority of tech commentators consider T-HR3 as next super inteligent war machine. However, Toyota has shown a future direction of usage of 5G and introduced how to exploit the full potential of that technology.







How Artificial Intelligence is starting to have a serious effect on our lives?

Have you seen Minority Report directed by Steven Spielberg? 



For those who haven’t I recommend watching it because the prophecy of this film begins to meet.

Due to the fact that technological process is constantly developing and thanks to that the meaning of Artificial Intelligence in our lives increase, we can definitely be scared about this what is happening around us.


Have you ever been thinking about which is one of the most intimate things in people lives?

It is sexuality orientation. Nowadays many people hide them real sexuality in fear of social indignation for example: sport players, family members, schoolmates. This people have to bother with this inside battle of “coming-out” every single day and now it is going to be worse. Nowadays the AI can guess whether you are gay or straight based of photos of your face. It is the fact not the opinion! Now we can say that machines started to be better “gaydar” than people. The study work from Stanford University – has found algorithm which could distinguish with 81% of accuracy whether you are gay or straight for men and with 74% of accuracy for women.

The algorithm was tested on machine intelligence which had to research of 35 000 facial photos from the one of dating sites and thanks to that had find out the real sexual orientation.

“The research found that gay men and women tended to have “gender-atypical” features, expressions and “grooming styles”, essentially meaning gay men appeared more feminine and vice versa. The data also identified certain trends, including that gay men had narrower jaws, longer noses and larger foreheads than straight men, and that gay women had larger jaws and smaller foreheads compared to straight women.”   – Sam Levin, The Guardian


Okay what if I am straight?

The authors of study which was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Dr. Michal Kosinski and Yilun Wang, claim that this algorithm can also be used as a similar AI system which could be trained to spot others human traits such as IQ or political views. They are also warning us against this AI develop process because it can turn into something that we don’t really want to in our lives.

It is happening now!

Police in the UK are piloting a new project which provides to use AI to determines how someone is likely to commit the crime. Seems familiar? Back to that what I wrote at the beginning of my post, Steven Spielberg (Director) and Philip K. Dick (writer) were right. AI is going to prevent us from committing the crime.


“(…) The system has 1,400 indicators from this data that can help flag someone who may commit a crime, such as how many times someone has committed a crime with assistance as well as how many people in their network have committed crimes. People in the database who are flagged by the system’s algorithm as being prone to violent acts will get a “risk score,” New Scientist reported, which signals their chances of committing a serious crime in the future. (…)

(…) Donnelly told the New Scientist that they don’t plan to arrest anyone before they’ve committed a crime, but that they want to provide to those who the system indicates might need it. He also noted that there have been cuts to police funding recently, so something like NDAS (National Data Analytics Solution) could help streamline and prioritize the process of determining who in their databases most needs intervention. (…)”
– Melanie Ehrenkranz,

The project now is in its infancy in comparison to how important it can be for the future of the justice system.

To sum up my post, there are billions of facial images of people that are publicly available on social media sites, government databases and also these ones which come from the streets cameras. In my opinion we should try to care more about our privacy in a media and don’t let the governments to have that serious impact on our lives because as we know the systems are like people, they sometimes fail.






author: Michał Żelazo

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AI versus cancer

About 2 years ago it was the first time when I heard about AI. Now it seams that it could help radiologists to check X-rays . Back then it wasn’t even in Alpha tests and now it  becomes reality.

Right now in Europe when mammograms are performed, normally 2 radiologists are looking for the signs of cancer. In a near future it will most certainly change.  AI will be detecting irregularities in x-rays scans thanks to deep learning and big data base of images of breasts with anomalies.

A few start-ups already started working on those programs e.g. Berlin-based MX Healthcare which collected over 1 million imagines (just like the one below on the left). Google also started working on AI  with the same purpose using program called Lymph Node Assistant, or LYNA.

Google AI cancer

Above: Left: a slide containing lymph nodes. Right: LYNA identifying the tumor region.
Image Credit: Google

LYNA detects metastatic tumors made of cancerous cells which break away from their original tissue , circulate through the body and form new tumors in other parts of the body. Those cells are extremely difficult to detects and due to  that there are around 0,5 millions deaths annually. In one of the tests Google operating system received 99% accuracy ( comparing to human with only 62% ) which only tells that in future AI will be used 100% with or without help of radiologists.

The difference between LYNA and other AI is a data base. Google AI uses open source data which let it learn and practice more efficient than other programs.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania breast cancer xray

To sum it up, AI in the future will be checking probably all X-ray imagines due to it superiority over humans, but it doesn’t mean that radiologists will lose their jobs. This is because AI will be able to check the past of the cancerous changes but not the future of them.






50 000 Printers hacked in order to prolong PewDiePie’s number one spot on YouTube.

Felix Kjellberg, a swedish YouTuber known as PewDiePie, is in the middle of a “YouTube subscribers war” where the prize is the number on spot considering the amount of subscribers on a channel. The war is fought between him and T-Series, an Indian media company which does bollywood music videos. Right now T-Series is the fastest growing channel on YouTube and has the number one spot regarding video views.

We’ve seen lots of posts, tweets, videos with people preaching the message of helping Felix remain the number one by subscribing to him, we’ve even had another YouTuber buy billboards to spread the message.

But this is like nothing before. Twitter user known as TheHackerGiraffe has found an exploit that enabled him to hack 50 thousand printers. First words about it came from twitter where people thought it was actually PewDiePie’s propaganda. PewDiePie took a bit of hate to the face because of this, but not enough to affect him – it’s not the first time and not the last time he gets bullied.


Because of this event the subscriber war took a twist and PewDiePie is still number one but not for long since T-Series is growing 4 times quicker. Here’s a live sub counter from YouTube provided by FlareTV

A bit about the technical side of the “hack”.

“TheHackerGiraffe scanned the Internet to find the list of vulnerable printers with port 9100 open using Shodan, a search engine for internet-connected devices and exploited them to spew out a message.

The hacker mainly uses an open-source hacking tool to exploit vulnerable printers, called Printer Exploitation Toolkit (PRET), which has been designed for testing printers against various known vulnerabilities, allowing attackers to capture or manipulate print jobs.”

The Hacker News

Apparently this is more of a trick than a hack. It’s not very complicated and it’s already been done by a hacker called Weev in 2016 in order to broaden antisemitism and by another hacker in 2017 who just printed silly drawings on around 150 000 printers.

TheHackerGiraffe in his AMA on reddit claimed that he hacked only 50 000 out of 800 000 potential printers that are still exposed to attacks. In perspective, that’s a lot of printers to be used in a bad way like phishing, blackmailing or just simply abusing it. It shows how insecure IPP/LPD printers are – especially when they’re not up-to-date. To somehow portray how easy this attack may be TheHackerGiffare wrote:

Think of it as a giant print button on the internet.

Having this power in his hands our “Friendly Giraffe” instead of abusing it he decided to help a YouTuber he liked and out of all the options he had – he decided to send the following message:

It’s a good way to raise awareness about security. This trick could have cost companies a lot of money since ink and paper doesn’t come for free. On top of that a trick like that could be pulled off by a kid and they could suffer consequences because of that. It is said that all a hacker need is your Fax number to hack your printer. At the end of the day a fun little game of a subscriber war has thought us a lesson about our security.


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