Smart Cities Run On NLP

AI assistants abound in our daily lives. Your refrigerator can tell you if you’re out of milk. A notification push on your phone can tell you who’s at the door. Just by speaking to the small electronic device on your counter, you can ask a question and receive an answer or queue up your favourite playlist. Smart devices surround us and now cities are finding ways to use NLP, a subset of AI, to help their smart cities run smoother.

Smart Cities Run on NLP

Yes, your machine knows the answer to your question. It can also engage with the person who’s up at 2 am on your website and answer FAQs in real-time. On the phone, it can answer questions like your bank balance, and your doctor’s appointments, or remind you of someone’s birthday. For cities, it can help focus mundane password reset questions to a dedicated line so your team can focus on bigger issues.

So, what are some ways cities run smarter using Natural Language Programming (NLP)? Automated systems can help people navigate city departments for permits, marriage licenses, vaccine locations, and utility resources. AI can collect and sort the voluminous amounts of Data collected using smart sensors to monitor the city’s resources for actionable insights.

The implications of NLP, Machine Learning, and AI can be found not just in smart city governments but across a spectrum of services including, but not limited to:

  • Human services
  • Healthcare
  • Defense
  • Public Safety
  • Court and Criminal Justice System

Cities’ urbanization projections are expected to grow to over 2.5 billion. Consider all the Data available and required to ensure the populace has access to information in a once archaic system. For cities to run more smoothly, they cannot escape the digital landscape and must keep up to stay ahead. When done properly, digital experiences can help make things more efficient, cost-effective, and more fully realized to improve city services and civic engagement.

Small Steps and the Most Common Uses of NLP

Okay, we did this one a little backward. But sometimes it’s important to know all the benefits of a new technology before you can focus on how it works. Here’s the thing about machines learning to speak as we do. Humans speak with emotion, inflection, tone, nuances, idioms, cultural references, and a host of other details.

In Machine Learning and NLP, language begins easily enough. Much like you might speak into a recording device (speech) and submit to Rev for transcription (text). But what if you need what’s written to be spoken to you? In other words, AI ‘reads’ what’s written and tries to make it sound natural. The amount of Data and text that run cities is staggering.

No human could sift through, analyze, and parse out the variants to better serve the communities. Enter NLP and the assistants you may know as Alexa, Watson, and Siri just to name a few. Language is filled with ambiguity and teaching it to a machine can be challenging. But in our always-on, ever-in-demand world, global-focused world, it’s important to know that even at 2 am, your question will be answered.

If the Digital assistant can’t help you, they can direct you to a department or human representative who can help. For those about to enter the metaverse, this is only the beginning.

If you’re looking for your next role in Big Data, Analytics, Software Engineering, or Computer Vision, Harnham may have a role for you.

Check out our current NLP jobs or contact one of our expert consultants to learn more.

For our West Coast Team, contact us at (415) 614 – 4999 or email

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For our Mid-West and East Coast teams, contact us at (212) 796-6070 or email

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