The chief digital officers of London and Helsinki have signed a declaration on digital co-operation, agreeing to work together to embrace the opportunities presented by artificial intelligence (AI), open data and digital innovation.
It’s the first such agreement for London and is expected to enable the UK and Finnish capitals to collaborate on smart city projects that address common challenges.
The City to City Digital Declaration signed by London’s Theo Blackwell and Helsinki’s Mikko Rusama specifies several new areas of collaboration between the two capitals, including:
- The ethical use of data and AI for better citizen engagement and improved public services;
- Sharing knowledge of AI and its use in smart city solutions;
- Learning from successful data-sharing approaches across public services, 3D city modelling and the concept of ‘digital twins’; and
- Encouraging digital innovation by supporting entrepreneurs and citizens to collaborate.
Blackwell said the declaration “sets out a formal framework for co-operation between Helsinki and London to develop our respective in-house expertise and links with the tech sector to use city data to improve the lives of our citizens.”
He hopes the agreement acts as template for future collaboration between civic tech pioneers in London and around the world.
Speaking to the New Statesman’s NS Tech, Rusama stressed the importance of taking an ethical approach.
“We’re planning to work on clarifying the ethical principles of utilising data and AI which is crucial in order to gain trust from residents, and we’re organising an event in Helsinki where we will invite Theo and people from other cities to discuss this,” he said.