SINGAPORE (Dec 3): Ten years ago, I visited the Qianhai special development zone in Shenzhen. Then it was tidal mudflats, heavy earth-moving machinery, ramps of dirt, massive earthworks and a dream. Over the past decade, construction progressed as many in Hong Kong sneered at its apparent lack of purpose, but that simply ignored evolution into a smart city focused on innovation.

I visited Qianhai again this week after speaking at the APEC SME Summit. It is a modern, thriving, well-developed, high-tech ecocity that challenges the best developments in the world. When we look to cities of the future, this is what they will look like.

I had an opportunity to have a closer look at the product development of the world’s hottest artificial intelligence (AI) company, SenseTime. It is a true unicorn company, having raised total financing of more than US$1.6 billion ($2.2 billion), and is valued at over US$4.5 billion. It is entrusted by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China with establishing the National Open Innovation Platform for Next-Generation Artificial Intelligence on Intelligent Vision. I was introduced to what it calls a surveillance city. This is its most infamous service and includes instant facial recognition and analysis, real-time crowd analysis and behavioural analysis. It moves CCTV into the 21st century.

To continue reading,

Sign in to access this Premium article.

Subscription entitlements:

Less than $9 per month
3 Simultaneous logins across all devices
Unlimited access to latest and premium articles
Bonus unlimited access to online articles and virtual newspaper on The Edge Malaysia (single login)

Stay updated with Singapore corporate news stories for FREE

Follow our Telegram | Facebook