Toronto, the fourth largest city in North America, is contemplating in building a digital 522,720 square foot sidewalk, to go along with its historically famous, three kilometer, Beaches boardwalk (1918(1)). The word, boardwalk conjures nostalgic times when The Drifters sang “Under the Boardwalk” (1964). Back then the pace was slower and not as connected. Unfortunately, the only place we can stop time is in our imagination.
One 100 years later, Toronto is in discussions to partner with Google, to share a vision and mission to build a 12 acre modern sidewalk (Gwalk). This is not the traditional concrete sidewalk but a digital smart one. We’ve heard a lot about the future of the Internet where all manufactured devices that are used in our households, cars, schools, businesses, hospitals and leisure will be connected to everything that helped to create these devices via the cloud (internet). It’s called the Internet of Things (IoT).
Is this a good thing or bad? That is the question swirling around Toronto’s ‘Gwalk’ as we anticipate the good and bad of IoT for our future.
In an interview with Mr. Steve Diamond, Waterfront Toronto, Chair who is in charge of working with Google Sidewalk, stated that he is, “Very sensitive to the needs of the community and is working hard with all the stakeholders to address their privacy issues as one of his top priorities.”
What has all of this data, information got to do with boardwalks and sidewalks? Everything! As much as we want to hang onto the slow pace of walking along a boardwalk, the stride has leaped frogged into 2030, where AI and robotics will displace about 800 Million workers(2). How do we prepare for this displacement? By understanding and learning about the global technology trends which will enable you to acquire the new knowledge to cope with this transference of current job skills.
Diamond feels that Toronto Waterfront with Google’s partnership can lead the way to help Torontonians to be better prepared for 2030. Gwalk development will be creating a model that will address the future jobs that people will need to learn so they can work in an AI and Robotic Gwalk environment. He also felt that, “Toronto is a vibrant city and with the Sidewalk project it will attract other technology companies which will create an amazing futuristic global Toronto technology centre to showcase these future jobs.”
Toronto, is the 8th most innovative city in North America(3). Hence, Google is willing to invest over $63 million to partner with Toronto’s innovative mindset in building a 12 acre, smart 2030 digital Gwalk community, in the Port Lands. About 76% of Torontonians support this type of partnership. If successful, Toronto and Google would be showcasing the world’s first futuristic Gwalk city. This will require shared IoT research data and collaboration with people who would be moving to live in the Gwalk community.
“ TORONTO, IS THE 8TH MOST INNOVATIVE CITY IN NORTH AMERICA”
To construct Toronto’s Gwalk community will require Exabytes(1018) – this is like two stacks of CDs that go to the Moon each day – of IoT data from: moving platforms, tunnels, driverless vehicles, using fuel cell garbage disposal to continuously create clean energy, pre-fabricated LEED homes using Light Gauge Steel, medications and autonomous food deliveries, Quantum Intelligence (QI), Knowledge Generator™, Avatar teachers, VR and AR classrooms, Educhain and blockchain processes, smart graphene textiles, to name a few. In this medley of future things is the question what will happen to my personal data? The short answer is we need to learn how best to combine all this Gwalk data for the benefit of the community and to improve their lives in the long term. The long answer – a world of personalized data with knowledge avatars (kAvatars™) to help filter your big data into your personalized knowledge.