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This article was published on August 5, 2022

Can AI design better streets for pedestrians? You be the judge

DALL-E 2 is reimagining American cities

Can AI design better streets for pedestrians? You be the judge Image by: Better Streets AI

The USA’s “love affair with the automobile” hasn’t been kind to pedestrians.

In 2020, more than 6,500 people were struck and killed while walking in the country.

A new report by Smart Growth America lays most of the blame on roadways.

“Our nation’s streets are dangerous by design, designed primarily to move cars quickly at the expense of keeping everyone safe,” the study authors wrote.

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The campaigners want streets to be redesigned for pedestrian safety.

A new AI experiment imagines the outcomes.

The project is the brainchild of Zach Katz, a Brooklyn-based artist.

Katz had been playing around with the DALL-E 2 image generator. After feeding the system Google Street View images, Katz believed the outputs could effect real changes.

“I thought it was really cool, what it was spitting out, and I was kind of blown away at the transformative potential it has for helping people envision better cities,” he told Bloomberg News

But are the concepts better than the existing designs? You can judge that for yourself:

Katz hopes the project fosters advocacy for more liveable streets. With luck, it might even end some love affairs with cars.

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