Non-Fungible Concepts

In the last days, I was reflecting on the term “smart” that we use to identify the imprecise and elusive concept of the city that we - apparently - want.

It was said that the term has a positive connotation because it’s used as a synonym of “intelligent”, but this aura could be in our mind and be described itself as a “bias”. 


“Smart” does it mean “intelligent”? Not at all.


Citing the quote by Alan Turing, an infallible machinery can’t be also intelligent, that lead to two important things:


  • intelligent people can “fail”, because they need to rest, they need to explore, they need to find a way to express themselves. If we want only infallible (so, efficient) people, we can continue with our education system and don’t be surprised when also an efficient person breaks - also infallible machines break down and need to be repaired.
  • a city is intelligent by default, as long as it’s populated by people - and it’s intelligent as much as those people are intelligent. So, what could miss is, in fact, the “smart city”, in the sense that it's a city able to fetch-decode-executes commands written in our instructions.


It remains the problem on writing those instructions, and who writes them.


It remains the problem to eradicate from our mind the link between “smart” and “intelligent”, especially in the infamous Italian translation of smart cities: città intelligenti.


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