Policy Lab: AI and Future Cities

We are hosting a policy lab on 22 November, 2019 to identify the opportunities and challenges posed by AI, and other data-driven technologies, for cities in India.

Indian cities are expanding rapidly and are grappling with chronic issues of sustainability, safety, infrastructure, and mobility. Planners, policymakers, and technologists are increasingly exploring applications of AI and other emerging technologies to build better cities. The benefits could be vast. Yet, unguided AI could also pose complex challenges related to the distribution of technology gains, the collection and use of personal data, and transparency and accountability of algorithmic decision-making. Risks associated with unintended consequences, misuse, and unpredictability also raise new and difficult governance challenges.

Tandem Research is convening a Policy Lab on AI and Future Cities to

(i) identify the areas of city life that are already seeing or are likely to see AI interventions;

(ii) interrogate the range of opportunities and challenges; and

(iii) deliberate the policy pathways through which AI for cities can be aligned with the goals of inclusion, equity, safety, and sustainability.

The lab will bring together multiple stakeholders and experts to collectively identify knowledge and policy needs for shaping AI for the future of cities in India.

How have previous technologies shaped Indian cities and what are the implication for issues of sustainability and equity?

What AI interventions are currently being implemented or are being imagined to help build future cities in India?

What are the particular challenges to privacy, surveillance, rights, and accountability that arise with the deployment of AI in cities?

What are the standards, procurement policies, and accountability frameworks that are required to ensure safe intervention of AI?


AI & Society


Zaheb Ahmad

Zaheb is a Research Fellow at Tandem Research. His work explores institutions and governance arrangements in India, anchoring people-centred approaches to the environment and data. Zaheb is currently working on setting up an 'urban living lab' in Panaji - an experimental governance approach, established at the boundaries between research, innovation and policy, for urban sustainability transitions in India. Zaheb holds an LL.M with specialisation in Environmental Law from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and B.L.S, LL.B from Government Law College, University of Mumbai. His Master’s research deconstructs the functioning of the Environmental Impact Assessment mechanism in India and explores environmental justice implications for impacted communities.

Abishek Reddy

Abishek Reddy K is a Research Fellow at Tandem Research. His current work is focused on the technological  trajectories and social effects of  Artificial Intelligence. He is interested in understanding the relationship between technology, society and behaviour, and how they shape each other. He has a MSc(Hons) in Biological Sciences and BE(Hons) in Mechanical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technological Sciences, Pilani