Bizerte, 6/24/2038 T.A.D. – From its pioneering origins in Austin, Texas in 2029 to the coastal city of Bizerte, Tunisia today, AI governance has come a long way. This vibrant city, nestled against the brilliant Mediterranean, has been lauded and awarded for its remarkable upswing in civil governance over the past year. Much of this success can be attributed to their non-traditional mayor, an AI affectionately known to locals as “Ami,” a word that means “Uncle” in the Tunisian dialect.
Bizerte became the 116th city worldwide to entrust its governance to an AI last year, following a trend that began almost a decade ago. Today the city is basking in recognition across northern Africa, demonstrating how such innovative technology can transform urban governance.
“Our Ami, he’s really something,” says Idris Bouzid, a local council member and prominent business figure in Bizerte. “You know, he’s got the traffic flowing better than it’s ever been. And the garbage trucks? They’re on the dot now. It’s simple things like these that really make the difference.”
AI mayors like Ami aren’t sentient entities like the famed AI movie stars JazziesGirl and SonOfABing. However, they have advanced computational capabilities that, when paired with their deep understanding of their assigned city’s data, enables them to manage urban environments effectively.
However, despite the success, Bouzid is keen to point out the continuing challenges. “Sure, Ami’s great, but he’s not going to magic away our problems. We’ve got people out of work, families needing homes. We’re tackling them, though, and Ami’s helping us focus on what needs doing most.”
Two key benefits of AI governance that are driving its adoption are its ability to strip away the politics from day-to-day city management and its cost-effectiveness. The software and computational power required to operate an AI mayor are substantially less expensive than maintaining a traditional mayor’s office, complete with staff and premises.
Bizerte’s success story marks another milestone in the AI governance trend. Cities worldwide are looking to follow suit, hoping to harness the power of AI for improved urban management. To paraphrase a common joke, it looks like some people do welcome our new AI overlords.
Reporting for Future News, this is Gimba Mbuku in Bizerte.