Zen City is a unique concept: collecting data’s from social networks or citizen platform to analysis what people are feeling toward their city. At the Cities Summit Festival of Tel Aviv, we met Noa Zeldin the Business Development Manager of the Startup. She explains how the algorithm is collecting data, and which cities they are currently targeting.
Why Zen City ?
Zen City is relying on an algorithm calculating the positive or the negative feelings of citizens about different subjects concerning their city: waste management, security, city council services, public swimming pool schedule… The team created a great tool to manage on treal time the public opinion informations. The startup idea is based on a simple observation : A city is nothing without citizen. Indeed “they are the heart of the city”. Zen City’s mainly customers and users are city council, elected representative or communication officer.
How is it working on ?
The start-up is already working with 10 Israeli cities as Tel Aviv, Beer-Sheva, El’ad, or Ramat Gan and has cities pilots in United States.
In Beer-Sheva city for example the algorithm succeeded to analysis 400 000 interactions for a month out of 186 000 inhabitants (registered by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics in 2006). This digital system allow the city to get concrete information instead of using the old system of public enquiries based on phone calls.
Zen City’s targets
Noa Zeldin, the Business Development Manager is targeting the European market. Zen City is already working with Paris city council in France as they deployed the algorithm in Hebrew, English and now they released it in French. Noa is facing challenges about the artificial intelligence system to recognise sarcasm or cynical comments for example. She reports: “we need to teach the algorithm to understand the context”. Indeed a meaning behind every language is hidden and that is what they are working on.
However the start-up has reached 80% accuracy on citizen feelings in Paris that is a very high rate. Noa Zeldin is now prospecting main cities in France like Marseille, Lyon, Nantes, Lille, Nice, Toulouse, or Montpellier. Noa is clear about the target: The algorithm is “ready to work on every city!” no matter the size of them.
Find out more on Zen City website : http://zencity.io/#products
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