THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) has offered Baguio City P18 million worth of grant money for an artificial intelligence (AI) project to bolster the city’s urban renewal and smart city projects.
Dubbed MINERVA (Monitoring for Indicators for Efficient Redevelopment and Value Assessment), the AI would utilize existing local government data and technology alongside new sensors, data collection, and public data to create a “data hub” in support of urban and ecological renewal efforts.
City Mayor’s Office Chief of Staff Engr. Felipe Puzon Jr. said that the Asian Institute of Management would also give a counterpart funding worth P3 million for research and development, and the city government itself would provide another P3 million as the first adopter of the MINERVA AI, in cooperation with the University of the Philippines, which serves as a partner in the academe.
According to Puzon, the AI will tackle four main focus areas, namely air pollution, water supply and quality, urban mobility, and tourism demand.
For air pollution and urban mobility, MINERVA will generate, test and utilize AI models to predict air quality and pollution levels in the city, identify contributing factors, and test and deploy models for monitoring and regulating mobility patterns in the central business district.
For tourism demand, MINERVA will utilize available data to model and predict tourist demand in points of interest in the city and determine what factors lead to desirability.
And for water supply and quality, Puzon says that MINERVA will be used in the creation of a water quality sensor network.
The project cited an earlier report of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that identified six areas of particular concern for Baguio to arrest further deterioration and start its urban renewal: air quality, water quality of rivers, solid waste management, forest cover, traffic congestion, and proliferation of informal settlers and illegal structures.