Interviewing the CEO About Using Multiagents and AI for Smart Cities is a Cambridge-based artificial intelligence lab building an open-access decentralized machine learning network for smart infrastructure, in partnership with Datarella, a company providing industrial blockchain solutions, announced today the launch of their smart city zoning infrastructure trials in Munich Germany. Nextbigfuture interviewed Humayun Sheikh, CEO of Humayun Sheikh is an innovation entrepreneur, founding investor in DeepMind with a record in revolutionizing trading in the steel sector.

The new system will more efficiently enable traditional parking and hotel transactions while building a far greater system where all objects in the world have smart agents for vastly improved efficiency and economic opportunities.

The smart city zoning trial in Munich, Germany will launch in Connex Buildings and will utilize multi-agent blockchain-based AI digitization services to unlock data and provide smart mobility solutions in its commercial real estate properties in the city center.

“ provides a decentralized framework for building and customizing autonomous AI agents to carry out complex coordination tasks,” said Humayun Sheikh, CEO of “Our vision is to connect digital and real-life economies in order to enable automation over a decentralized network and change the way we use data.” AEAs (Autonomous Economic Agents) will support the sustainable and efficient use of city infrastructure in Munich through an application where they will autonomously negotiate the ‘price’ of parking spaces between the holders of them, and those looking for a parking space. Users can earn rewards in digital currency if they choose less popular or in-demand parking spaces (or do not use the parking lot at all on some days). The Carpark AEA determines the reward levels based on maximizing resource usage.

Users are incentivized to reduce their individual traffic to the Connex offices through a reward system which is measured by the utilization of parking spaces. Each registered user who is a regular car park user will be rewarded with a certain amount of tokens per minute for not parking at the parking lot. As soon as a car or its related wallet address is registered as parked by the Carpark AEA, the token airdrops to this wallet stop. The number of tokens rewarded per wallet and minute depends on the current utilization of the parking lot.

“Assuming there is a 10% reduction in car usage across Munich alone, the city would see a 34,000 tonne annual Co2 emission reduction,” continued Sheikh. “Scaled up to cover all of Germany, that equates to 1.7 million tonne Co2 reduction, annually. This smart city solution has the potential to penetrate huge markets simply by tapping into wasted data and utilizing it efficiently.”

Interview With Humayun Sheikh, Fetch AI CEO

Question – How is Fetch.AI different?

Fetch.AI is initially starting by providing services that are similar to parking space finding applications and hotel reservation sites but in an open-ended architecture. The open architecture allows for greater efficiency and the ability to integrate with other intelligent services and the ability to add in adjustments for societal or jurisdiction goals.

Fetch.AI is setup for decentralized communication.

They want to create ecosystem infrastructure = ecostructure. This is where agents represent each object including street signs or parking spaces.

They provide the tools to incorporate blockchain and AI easily.

Question – What is the Long Term Vision of Fetch AI

Fetch.AI will enable a smart world but without the need for trillions of internet of things devices and infrastructure.

The self-driving car could improve anticipation of cyclists and certain other real-world situations if there was a dynamic communication level above the static road information.

This will create an augmented information reality where agents can negotiate for optimal results and new monetization opportunities.

They manage multi-stakeholder needs in a decentralized way. A self-driving car has to interact with many signs and rules and bicyclists and pedestrians. The vision systems would be able to allow the vehicles to react dynamically but a smart city can have timed changes in lane direction. Having a smart communication layer can enable a city to have more efficient control of traffic.

SOURCES- Fetch.AI, Interview with Humayun Sheikh, Fetch AI CEO
Written By Brian Wang,

23 thoughts on “Interviewing the CEO About Using Multiagents and AI for Smart Cities”

  1. I think when we have self driving cars people will not own cars. We will use them on demand and shop for peak pricing. The cars will only need charging space and roads can be made one direction during peak times. If I were working on AI, I would consider the possibility the future may be closer than you think.

  2. Keyed locks are absolutely hackable, including having
    "master keys" that could be available to the local authorities.
    –Installing and changing a mechanical lock is trivial to any competent adult. Nothing stopping you from having some obscure thing the local authorities have never heard of, or something dating back decades, or whatever.
    — Hacking said lock will require someone to physically come to your home or car and do so where you might catch them. Increased effort and exposure both reduce the chances of this actually happening.

    Most of this "technology allows a big brother surveillance state" thing is not about stuff that was not possible when living in 1970s East Germany, or 1600s Spain. It's that it mostly didn't happen because it was too much trouble, it took too much resources, to actually do this to anyone who wasn't already at the top of the important suspects list. Being able to have AI scan anything you say in the same room as a voice operated TV or Siri and raise an alert if you trigger a wrong-think phrase, is worrying because it could feasibly be done to everyone.

  3. Yes, good examples of *small world* power addicts with a plausible justification. The most dangerous kind. The reactions to O'Neill from these people, I could write a book! Destruction of a world view, or fleeing in terror.

  4. I was pointing out that traffic and parking spots seem to be the focus, with CO2 thrown in. I don't think it is promised to be a CO2 solution, by any means. There is libertarian justification for C fee, but that does not make it the best solution, which I heavily have been demanding for over 4 decades, Space Solar. The fee proceeds would fund the tech solutions, in a rational system.

  5. "Will we next create false gods to rule over us? How proud have we become, and how blind."
    — Sister Miriam Godwinson, "We Must Dissent"

    Edit: I'm not necessarily against such things, but this reference to The Self-Aware Colony came to mind immediately.

  6. Indeed, the only way is forward, any other way is suicidal nonsense.

    It has been clear for me for some time that leftism and the green movement are sibling ideologies, and both are strongly reactionary movements, trying to stop the technological and societal changes by restricting growth and by forcing coercion and obedience to their central tenets.

    They don't really give a hoot about actual human or nature's welfare, only paying lip service to those concepts.

    And they are really hell-bent on forcing everyone to show their obedience with visible signs. In many circles it's not enough to be a silent moderate anymore, because if you do not kneel and do the proper signs, you are already suspect of being a traitor.

    They are the true conservatives now.

  7. That's because being a hypocrite is also part of the lefty manual, or should be, as per their behavior and wishes of poverty and restrictions upon others (but not upon themselves).

  8. I think that these systems require either a high degree of trust within or coercion of the population to implement. As an IT professional, my level of trust in software systems is low for a reason. Software development focuses on delivering specific functional requirements; security is a secondary requirement that the people who are paying the money for the development don't understand and don't care about as long as they are insulated from responsibility for security breaches.

  9. +1 – i will now always use the term 'self-mortification' in my arguments against 'left-leaning' policies (though I am not always convinced that hyper-liberals are into 'self-denial' and 'self-discipline' as the terms often implies).

  10. Unfortunately, this flies into common pro-growth wisdom: "…the aspiration to always increase economies of scale [increase quantities] is the sign of a vibrant, modern civilization…", "…build it and they will come…", "… you do not overcome long-term and foundational scarcity by 'marketplace haggling' and increasingly dividing a too-small pie…", "…reducing CO2 by a unit of economic benefit foregone in a moderate tech world (now) is a lot more expensive than one would think if some future technology that solves much is pushed off due to our 'enviro prudishness'…". The point is that we are not at a technological level when we are reducing CO2 fast enough to be worth the resources that could otherwise be spent on developing 'awesome' tech rather than these band-aid and feel-good solutions. I recommend that you read Iain Banks on post-scarcity society and why its worth prioritizing tech over CO2 penny pinching now.

  11. Things are getting too "smart" for our good. When you are wanted by authorities and you don't want them you get into your "smart" car to leave and it locks you in. They have a "back door" to the computer. It delivers you to them and only unlocks when they are ready to receive you. Your "smart" house similarly works against you when someone hacks into the computer. It might report anything you do or say and given all the systems that the house will have, there are any number of other things it can do to you. I would rather be smart than to have such things if I will always be able to avoid them. It is becoming urgent that we choose the principles of the Libertarian Party.

  12. Power addiction "on the job", in the bureau-crazy, etc is bad enuf. Start threatening to leave and quit paying tribute does not go well.

  13. Fixed the link to the tweet. The thread is very eloquent about how people like this view the recent and upcoming changes on space access.

    They are a reason of concern, though, because even if their views are extreme and a bit loony, they can still be espoused by political opportunists, trying to protect their special interests.

  14. After seeing this thread ( from a former NASA scientist, I tend to agree even more with your view.

    The almost tangible reality of upcoming space settlement is making all the central power lovers to come out of the bushes, angry with the chutzpah of Musk and the space cadets, thinking about a life in space and far from (their) control.

    Who Musk thinks he is? how he dares thinking about using dead planetary bodies that nobody can reach and use? the hubris of it all!

    All wrapped in feel-good talk about "space is for everyone", "for the benefit of mankind", which really means "space is for no one, remain on Earth, obey and shut up".

    If these people had their way, Musk would end up incarcerated and any dream of private space would be cancelled.

    Edit: fixed the link to the tweet.

  15. To be fair, the CO2 reduction is from traffic reduction. Living in Austin, that sounds good to me on its own. edit: "they will autonomously negotiate the ‘price’ of parking spaces between
    the holders of them, and those looking for a parking space. Users can
    earn rewards in digital currency if they choose less popular or
    in-demand parking spaces (or do not use the parking lot at all on some
    days). The Carpark AEA determines the reward levels based on maximizing
    resource usage." This is more good/efficient pricing than the usu raw power play. Sort of like CO2 tax, may be better than alternatives, even if not perfect.

  16. The threat of "small world" thinking is that, *if* it were true, it would be hard to argue with. Then, throw in the attraction to power addicts of being in charge of *saving* the World, which they mistakenly think is limited to the Earth. O'Neill has shown us that the tech to destroy is the tech to leave, even protect, the Earth. And it makes $$$. And even Liberty!

  17. Practically all actual environmental improvements we have seen in the last decades, come from joining the political will of doing some change in the law, with market driven technological improvements allowing those changes to happen.

    Alas, most of the initial goals have already been achieved in the developed world, but not in the developing nations, which are still polluting and using up their natural resources to develop.

    They can be helped with better technologies and the existing experience of the developed nations, but specially, with forward thinking policies freeing them from obsolete tech and production methods.

    But there is also the political opportunism of the nebulous threat of climate change, which is a misnomer (climate changes always) and which has turned into a political boogey man to motivate population compliance to left-leaning policies. Which are always about coercion and displaying obedience to the central authority.

    Such ideologies will always favor external shows of compliance and self mortification, as visible proofs of submission, over any change coming from people's free choices, free exchanges and technological improvement.

    Don't get me wrong: humans have had an impact on the atmospheric composition, by ejecting CO2 and other industry byproducts. That's scientifically proven, what I disagree with are the future extrapolations and the policies that the green crowd are pushing for everyone to follow.

  18. Sorry but CO2 reduction needs to come from technological improvements not behavioural engineering/ coercion, regardless of whether the former takes longer/ more effort.
    "…Each registered user who is a regular car park user will be rewarded with a certain amount of tokens per minute for not parking …"
    We are trying to create a world of post-scarcity, not green-weinie-ism. CO2 reduction is about reducing a risky situation not eco-virtue-signalling.
    Show me a system where more people can do more things better/ faster/ longer.

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