BCN Ciutat Digital

Presentation of the Global Observatory of Urban Artificial Intelligence

The Global Observatory of Urban Artificial Intelligence (GOUAI) was officially launched in Barcelona on 20 July this year. The ceremony was held at Ca l’Alier, where the Observatory's first project, the Atlas of Urban Artificial Intelligence was introduced, and a seminar entitled “Algorithmic democracy or democratise algorithm” given.

The GOUAI is an initiative launched jointly by the CIDOB-Barcelona Centre for International Affairs and the cities of Barcelona, Amsterdam and London, within the framework of the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights.

Its goal is to promote research and disseminate best practice in the ethical application of artificial intelligence in cities. Launched in summer 2021, the project is supported by UN-Habitat.

The Observatory is working to ensure that algorithmic tools are sustainable, fair, in line with democratic values, responsible, transparent and cyber secure and that people's digital rights are effectively safeguarded.


Atlas of Urban Artificial Intelligence

A repository of initiatives that make ethical use of the artificial intelligence (AI) systems of diverse cities around the world. It is a consultation tool open to researchers, local political authorities and members of the public with an interest in AI.

The Atlas is intended to be a collaborative project, and all the projects that it includes are assessed in line with the GOUAI’s ethical principles.


“Algorithmic democracy or democratise the algorithm”

Through humanistic, practical debate, the seminar offered an analysis of how to rethink the integration of artificial intelligence within urban environments, and how to do this from civil society.

Among those participating in the seminar were Lydia Prinsen, the director of Amsterdam City Council's CTO Team programme, Michael Donaldson, Commissioner for Digital Innovation, E-Government and Good Governance at Barcelona City Council, and Milou Jansen, Coordinator of the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights.

Daniel Innerarity, Professor of Artificial intelligence and Democracy at the European University Institute of Florence, and Carina Lopes, Head of the Digital Future Society Think Tank at Mobile World Capital Barcelona, discussed the limits and risks of algorithmic democracy.


The newsletter The newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with Barcelona Digital City's new developments