The We Company is delving into the ambitious industry of “smart cities” with the help of former Google executive Di-Ann Eisnor.
The initiative will allow the company to build partnerships with cities and tackle issues such as jobs, housing, education, and other problems caused by urbanization.
After Eisnor creates a team of software engineers, architects, economists and biologists, the company will likely use its data sources and apply them to communities.
The We Company has a history of data collecting, including using machine learning towards gathering information about neighborhood demographics to make real estate decisions.
We also have 18 years worth of information on how people socialize due to its acquisition of Meetup. It also uses sensors and cameras to track how employees use physical spaces.
Now, the We Company has also utilized artificial intelligence in order to determine the best cities and neighborhoods to expand to, where occupancy rates will be guaranteed to be high.
“We have fleets of brokers, real estate experts, who are going out to look at buildings, stand on street corners, and assess the ‘vibe and energy’ of a location,” said Carl Anderson, former senior research scientist at WeWork.
In theory, this type of research can be applied to city planning or housing developers. Still, Smart cities are still in the very early stages and carry many risks when applying machine-learning to building new communities, which could reinforce existing inequalities.