If you’re like me and read anything about the current goings on in the tech sector you know that machine learning is the new hotness. I have been watching parts of the space for a few years and it has always fascinated me how it works. Probably because I’m not a math wiz and the concepts need some in-depth explanations before you can really understand what all that crazy jargon even means. Non-the-less I have been thinking about it for awhile now and decided I needed to try this stuff out.
I confess to having another reason for wanting to get into machine learning. I have been thinking about this for a long time and decided I should just try to build it. I have been wanting to make cities better for everyone. Urban sprawl is getting out of hand and commuting times are crazy. We need to find ways to redefine what living in a city means. We still build cities like we did years ago when there were far fewer people living in them. Today more and more people are moving to the city and making it their home. I have been thinking, if a machine can learn to play games like open civ then why not a game like Cities: Skylines. Using open models of cities and allow the machine to find better ways to make transportation better, among other things. Since the machine doesn’t have emotions are political interests it should help with the unbiased building of infrastructure. Giving the machine limits to look at such as cash spending limits, walking distance to work, amount of public transit to population ratio. At the very least it would be great to use machine learning to make cities function better for the people that live in them. Right now cities are more about he infrastructure and buildings than the people living in them. We need to change this but it will take some radical new thinking and machine learning can help get us there.
A lot of these points are just theories in my head at the moment. I really don’t know how it’s going to work or if it is even possible with the current technology. The best way to learn something new is to have a goal, this is mine. I just really want to make cities better for everyone. I really feel like we can do better on city planning. Make cities places where people enjoy living and can talk to the people around them. Having been to a Tokyo twice I can say there are great reasons to have a great public transit with walkability to everything. I’m not saying that Tokyo has it all figured out but they have some great examples of how we can make things better.