If you could introduce a piece of technology to improve London, what would it be? Self-pedalling Boris bikes? Smart pavements that shock slow-moving tourists? Robot baristas incapable of condescension? Whatever technological advances lie ahead, artificial intelligence – that is, software and machines that analyse huge datasets and make decisions accordingly – will be at the heart of them. And London will feel their effects first, too. The city is home to more artificial-intelligence companies than Paris and Berlin combined, making it – as declared earlier this year by a survey commissioned by Sadiq Khan – officially the AI capital of Europe.
But what does this mean for Londoners themselves? Maybe our city will become an algorithm-powered ‘Black Mirror’-esque hellscape filled with flying Ubers and sentient street-food robots. Or perhaps a cleaner, greener, safer, data-driven utopia. Either way, here’s an idea of what you can expect over the coming decades.