Four years ago, researchers at MIT’s Media Lab developed a computer vision system that can analyze street-level photos taken in urban neighborhoods in order to gauge how safe the neighborhoods would appear to human observers. Now, in an attempt to identify factors that predict urban change, the MIT team and colleagues at Harvard University have used the system to quantify the physical improvement or deterioration of neighborhoods in five American cities.
In work reported today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the system compared 1.6 million pairs of photos taken seven years apart. The researchers used the results of those comparisons to test several hypotheses popular in the social sciences about the causes of urban revitalization. They find that density of highly educated residents, proximity to central business districts and other physically attractive neighborhoods, and the initial safety score assigned by the system all correlate strongly with improvements in physical condition.
Perhaps more illuminating, however, are the factors that turn out not to predict change. Raw income levels do not, and neither do housing prices or neighborhoods’ ethnic makeup.
Wang is a prolific business-oriented writer of emerging and disruptive technologies. He is known for insightful articles that combine business and technical analysis that catches the attention of the general public and is also useful for those in the industries. He is the sole author and writer of nextbigfuture.com
, the top online science blog. He is also involved in angel investing and raising funds for breakthrough technology startup companies.
He gave the recent keynote presentation at Monte Jade event with a talk entitled the Future for You. He gave an annual update on molecular nanotechnology at Singularity University on nanotechnology, gave a TEDX talk on energy, and advises USC ASTE 527 (advanced space projects program). He has been interviewed for radio, professional organizations. podcasts and corporate events. He was recently interviewed by the radio program Steel on Steel on satellites and high altitude balloons that will track all movement in many parts of the USA.
He fundraises for various high impact technology companies and has worked in computer technology, insurance, healthcare and with corporate finance.
He has substantial familiarity with a broad range of breakthrough technologies like age reversal and antiaging, quantum computers, artificial intelligence, ocean tech, agtech, nuclear fission, advanced nuclear fission, space propulsion, satellites, imaging, molecular nanotechnology, biotechnology, medicine, blockchain, crypto and many other areas.