Verdict Magazine Issue 9 is out now, providing our customary deep analysis, long reads and comment articles on the biggest topics impacting the world of technology. In this May issue, we investigate how technology is changing our cities and what that means for democracy and business.

Smart cities are one of the major drivers of the internet of things, or IoT. Connected devices are being used for everything from city planning to journey aggregation, all thanks to the information flowing from them. Starship may have built its city on rock ’n roll, but the cities of today and tomorrow are constructed on mountains of data.

Smart cities are also big business. We look at the increasing presence of Big Tech in city life and the consequences of this. Flying taxis are big business too these days, with multibillion-dollar flotations now in the pipeline – but even so we may be waiting a while to hail an electric lift from rooftop to rooftop.

Meanwhile in China, the smart cities have become surveillance panopticons, used by the state not only to monitor the people but to modify their behaviour as well. Now, privacy advocates fear the same may happen in the West, a topic I explore in this issue.

Read on for all of this plus the usual in-depth analysis and comment in the latest issue of Verdict Magazine.

Highlights from Verdict Magazine issue 9 – May

The world’s smartest cities

Most cities will have technology solutions they can point to, but some cities are smarter than others. Robert Scammell lists some of the world’s smartest and explores the tech that makes them tick – and the strategies that make it all a reality.

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Face-off: Activists protest AI surveillance

Law enforcement increasingly uses AI-powered mass surveillance in smart cities to catch crooks. However, privacy advocates warn these solutions could harm people’s freedoms. Eric Johansson finds out more.

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Big Tech’s smart city power grab

The human race is expected to number close to 10 billion by 2050, and efficient use of every inch of city space is high on the agenda of local governments. All this makes for a market with lucrative potential for the companies providing the technology solutions powering the cities of the future, from smart waste management to autonomous delivery robots.

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Batteries not included: The electric air taxis aren’t quite ready yet

People have been dreaming of flying taxis for over a century. So why aren’t there any? Lewis Page finds out.

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Banking on diversity

A new breed of challenger banks have launched, specifically intended to support minorities. But is there really a business case for them? Eric Johansson finds out.

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IoT driving smart city investment around the world

The overall value of worldwide deals related to smart cities between the first quarter of 2019 and last quarter of 2020 totalled $17.24bn, representing a 123.48% increase year on year (YoY). This total factors in completed deals in venture financing, acquisition, equity offerings, private equity, debt offering, partnerships and asset transactions.

Verdict Magazine Issue 9Read it now

Almond be back: How robots can bring a return to safer farming

From shooting rotten almonds out of trees to burning weeds, robots can replace blanket farming practices with more precise, profitable and sustainable farming practices. Harry Lye finds out how.

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Into the Metaverse: Digital media’s next massive theme

With a nasty pandemic keeping many a venue shut around the world, there were few live musical highlights in 2020. But for music fans there were standouts of a virtual sort. For example a full-blown music festival headlined by Massive Attack and held by the beloved video game Minecraft.

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All this and much more technology news, analysis and long reads in Verdict Magazine issue 9.