Facebook PixelCity-wide ambient street lights that indicate how the residents felt that day
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City-wide ambient street lights that indicate how the residents felt that day

Image credit: Nopattern

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jul 09, 2022
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City-wide ambient street lights that indicate how the residents felt overall on a given day. Different colors indicate different feelings that dominated the day.
  • Seeing that people were generally happy that day may fill them with joy in the evening. It's a scoreboard of sorts.
  • Seeing a streak of predominantly negative feelings may prompt people to invest more effort into improving the well-being of their neighbors.
  • A predominant feeling of negativity serves as a wake-up call to city officials. It likely means that the residents' well-being should be given more attention.
How it works
An AI tries to gauge how a city's residents generally felt that day.
  • It looks at public social media posts from as many people as possible that were manually added as residents to the system's database. The AI uses GPT3 to understand the context of words in people's textual posts and videos.
  • People from specific professions are asked to participate and every afternoon submit their opinion/experience of what working with people felt that day. Supermarket cashiers, hairdressers, postal office clerks, and others who deal with walk-in customers on a daily basis.
  • There would be an app where people select whether they agree or disagree with today's indication of how the day felt. They can use a color picker to let the AI know how they felt. The city's ambient color would be adjusted based on these manual settings and AI would use this feedback to improve.
What else could help the AI gauge how the citizens felt that day?
Creative contributions

Other information that can be shared through this system

Spook Louw
Spook Louw Jul 11, 2022
I love the idea. Perhaps there are some other uses of the idea, other than conveying the general emotional states of the people in the area as well.
For instance:
  • Different coloured lighting could indicate what type of charity the specific area needs most.
  • Different coloured lighting could indicate how safe an area is deemed to be.
  • Different coloured lighting could show an area's official political stance on controversial issues, for example, in America, laws about abortion and marijuana differ from state to state. See camping.
What else could be shared that might benefit communities or travellers?
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Days off based on aggregate moods

Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi Jul 28, 2022
If the city's citizens feel negative for several days in a row, maybe a week or two, the city can declare a day off for everybody. On the day off, people should be encouraged to troop into the streets and engage in different fun activities from playing video games to cycling to watching street performances.
If possible, cities should plan for such scenarios in advance and activate them when the need arises.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic10 months ago
This might motivate people to game the system to get more off days
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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi10 months ago
Darko Savic To be honest, I did think something like that can occur.
One way I've thought of that the city authorities can forestall something like that is to have a limited number of free days in a year. This way, people will be forced to be careful, else they'll use the possible free days too early in the year.
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Bias the lighting system toward positive moods

Samuel Bello
Samuel Bello Dec 12, 2022
The lighting system's feedback can be adjusted to reinforce positive moods and emotions bacause showing the general mood of a 'lively' community can boost your morale when in such a place but a lot of negative emotions can also weigh a person down as the average human is quite empathic.
Negative feelings can be attenuated and positive emotions somewhat exaggerated. That way the system will encourage and reinforce positive emotions. But, this can backfire when something sad happens and it is normal for people to be sad but the lighting system says they are a bit happier about the sad news than they should be. That would be unusual.
Another possible disadvantage of showing too much of a community's negative mood is that some people can take advantage of this to cause protests and riots since they now know where it's most efficient to 'detonate' the people's emotions.
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Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni5 months ago
I agree with the mood-uplifting effect that the positive lights will have on the community. When the community faces sad news, the lights could mellow down for a while.
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Different ways to light the city in colors of its residents' feelings

Povilas S
Povilas S Jul 09, 2022
Nice idea. How do you imagine the system lighting the streets in color?
Would it average all the feelings representing different colors and then produce some shade of all those mixed colors (e.g. if the average mood of the citizens was somewhat in the middle of the feelings spectrum that day it would use green color because green is in the middle of the color spectrum) and use it for all the lamps in the city or would it do something like a color map, meaning some lamps in some areas would shine yellow, then the bigger area with lamps green, even bigger red, etc?
The second option would represent the percentage of people feeling that way that day, but then you could only see the big picture from above, so the first option is the simplest and perhaps the most practical one.
Alternatively, one could use a block system and the percentage-based color mapping, meaning that you'd have a different number of lamps shining different colors in a small area that's easy to see from the street level (like 100 meters of the street or so) and then such "blocks" would repeat throughout the city repeating the color map.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica year ago
For simplicity's sake, the sytem should distinguish between positive and negative feelings only. Positive would be represented with one color, negative with another, and (as you say) there would be a spectrum in between.
Street lights, public buildings, bus stations, and anything else that could be used would be retrofitted with color LED diodes that are centrally controlled.
The same color would be used for the entire city.
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Hue Ngo
Hue Ngoa year ago
Darko Savic Instead of street lights which can be costly, building an app for this objective would be more practical and economical. Plus, a general app would mean information sharing is easy and free, whereas if the government is building and controlling the street lights, these information could be regulated by the city or state such that what we see is filtered.
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General comments

Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi10 months ago
Like Spook Louw, the implication for drivers is the first thing that came to mind for me. I love the idea but I believe something other than streetlights should be used. For example, cities can build towers at strategic locations and fit them with these ambient lights. They can also easily retrofit the tallest structures in the city with these lights instead.
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Spook Louw
Spook Louwa year ago
I wonder if different coloured lighting might pose potential safety issues for drivers? Still, apart from streetlights, there are other light sources that could easily comply with this system (parks, pavements or any other public areas)
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