This Week in Intelligent Infrastructure 1/17

Intelligent Infrastructure conference

(Topio Networks is hosting an Intelligent Infrastructure Conference on April 28th and 29th at the Fairmount in Austin, Texas. We will discuss the critical challenges in making Intelligent Infrastructure a reality, including finding new models for collaboration among public, private, and academics, new models for sharing data, new approaches to standards, regulation, security & compliance, and implementations of the latest technologies.)

On January 10th, Pete Buttigieg talked at CES about how the department of transportation intends to work with the industry to lead the renovation of the United States Infrastructure system. Secretary Buttigieg explained that the world would see drastic changes over the next twenty years. Still, innovation is challenging to predict, and governments and businesses need to work together to make this future a reality. Mayor Pete explained that he had selected three main goals: 1) serving key policy priorities such as creating economic opportunities, enabling equitable access to transportation and addressing climate change, 2) supporting workers, and 3) fostering US Competitiveness and three guiding principles for its department: 1) collaboration among public, private and academic sectors, 2) learning from experimentations and 3) adaptable, flexible policies as technology evolves. 

We discussed with Jeff Decoux from the Autonomy Institute how intelligent infrastructures fit in this framework described by Secretary Pete Buttigieg. It is clear that both from a goal and methodology perspective, Intelligent infrastructure hit all the points and will be a cornerstone to make the Department of Transportation’s vision a reality.

Last Thursday, the White House gathered top executives from some of the world’s largest tech companies to discuss ways to boost the security of open-source software. In a blog post, Kent Walker, chief legal officer for Google and Alphabet, wrote that Open source software is a connective tissue for much of the online world and deserves the same focus and funding we give to our roads and bridges. It’s time to start thinking about digital infrastructure the same way we do with our physical infrastructure.”

Big Data is dead and welcome to small AI. Small AI and small datasets concepts in the US such as Data Mesh and Data Fabric are emerging. In addition, many European big companies support those new concepts through an open-source project developed by Fiware: Data Spaces which downplays Big Data in favor of smaller datasets hosted at the Edge. Gaia-X defines “data space” as “a type of data relationship between trusted partners, each of whom applies the same high standards and rules to the storage and sharing of their data.” The concept of data spaces, contrary to a data lake, is that data are not stored centrally but at source and are therefore only shared (via semantic interoperability) when necessary. Data Spaces could be a mechanism to share data in the Intelligent Infrastructure between partners. I will be discussing this approach at the Fiware SmartFest event this week.