LEAP conference 2022 – Enabling the First Cognitive City

by | Feb 1, 2022

I believe the purpose of technology is to unlock the hidden potential of the human spirit. This is why I define myself as a Digital Humanist, and why I am so excited to share my vision for TONOMUS. At TONOMUS, we are accelerating the next quantum leap in tech evolution and co-inventing the future of living. By transcending smart cities, we will build the world’s first cognitive region across an area larger than 15 European countries. Unlike existing smart cities that are limited to point solutions and hampered by legacy infrastructure, this unique greenfield opportunity lets us reimagine all aspects of communities.


Welcome to LEAP 2022. I’m so excited to have an opportunity to address all of you today. As CEO of NEOM’s TONOMUS, we made a commitment, and that commitment was to continue to further the vision of building the world’s first cognitive city here in Saudi Arabia. To that end, in 2022 alone, we will invest $1 billion in development of AI-enabled products and services to further that vision.

When people ask me, what is the difference between a smart city and a cognitive one, the question always centers around technology. We like to point out that in smart cities, they leverage only 5% of the data that is produced. While in the cognitive city, we leverage 95% of that data. The true difference lies in our ability for a cognitive city to be human-centric. That means if you want to capture all that data, what must you have? You must have trust. If our enterprises, if our customers, if our citizens don’t trust us, we can’t capture the data. Without data, there is no value. This is the great “privacy paradox” that is facing the world today.

Eighty percent of us are more and more concerned about our data and how it’s being used. Yet, in this day and age, we give more and more and more of that data away. If you thought of your data experience like an iceberg, when you go to a very famous site and you click, yes, indicating that you want to enjoy the experience and you authorize that site to have your data, what you don’t see, is what’s below that iceberg. What you don’t see is the 400 sites that you’ve given permission to use your data as they please.

We’re super excited and proud to announce the world’s first data consent management platform, M3LD. M3LD, very simply put, allows you as citizens, you as enterprises, and you as communities to take control back of your data and restore trust in the data economy. It does this by providing basically three core elements.

The first, is that it allows you to understand who has your data and what are they using it for.

Secondly, it provides you with a marketplace to begin to understand and be incentivized to use that data to opt-in or opt-out of that ultimate experience.

And thirdly, no more looking around 100 sites, trying to figure out what your preferences are.

It allows you in a single location, using artificial intelligence with recommendations, to set your privacy parameters so that they can be replicated across all of your sites.

Fundamentally, M3LD will restore trust to the data economy. We’re super excited about M3LD. But if we stopped that trust, that wouldn’t get us all the way.

We actually talked about the changes that COVID and Omicron have created in today’s environment. It’s accelerated us into the world of digital. I have a nephew. His name is Malcolm. He’s six years old. And he was so excited because he got a chance to spend two days with his Uncle Jojo. That’s what he calls me, Uncle Jojo. What I didn’t realize that my sister didn’t tell me, was that on one of those days he had to go to school. Now, what’s the problem with that? Well, the issue is trying to keep a six-year-old kid occupied for 4 hours via TV monitor screen over a teleconference, trying to understand a teacher and seven other classmates.

We have fallen short of our dream and vision around digitization. We’ve fallen short of that, but no more. We have the ability to take what is physical and turn it into digital. We have the ability to turn what is digital into what is physical and fundamentally create new experiences that have never been seen before. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to XVRS.

Video: Come on a voyage of discovery to a world of cognitive mixed reality where life integrates seamlessly across the physical and virtual to optimize how we live, work, and play.

A revolutionary urban living model with state-of-the-art city infrastructure, and an advanced cognitive digital twin, unique digital human transitions, and multiple customizable virtual and real experiences. Augmented cognitive virtual environments, and a digital-to-real world asset ownership and monetization opportunity. Extend your life beyond the reaches of merely the physical, for our way of life is enriched like no other, during your new cognitive reality. NEOM Tech & Digital is virtualizing the real and realizing the virtual.

XVRS represents the world’s truly first metaverse. Not just a digital world, but a platform that allows us to be able to mirror the physical world and enhance its very capabilities. XVRS will allow us to create digital twins with the ability to take a physical object and turn it into a digital object. It allows us the ability to transform from an experience in the physical world and to appear as a hologram in the digital world. It allows us the ability to be able to take those digital assets and be able to monetize them in a way that we have not seen before.

Today, within NEOM and the Kingdom is a great day. It’s a day of action. We are moving away from visions and dreams into realities and action plans. We are changing our vocabulary from rethinking to now recreating and executing the art of the possible.

Thank you very much.

About the Author

Joseph Bradley

Chief Executive Officer of NEOM Tech & Digital.
Humanist. Visionary. Galvanizer.

Learn more on this topic

Related Blog Posts