Neom is the city of the future according to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The $500 billion project is being built in the northwest corner of Saudi Arabia on coast of the Red Sea. Some of the plans have been seen and the details are - strange. The Saudi Prince's vision of the future includes robot maids, robot dinosaurs, glow-in-the-dark sand and an artificial moon. Other more dystopian details include 24/7 surveillance, geo-engineered rain and gene-editing clinics to create genetically enhanced humans.
The riches of Silicon Valley have enabled some extravagant and quixotic projects, but they’ve got nothing on what oil money can do.
A new report from The Wall Street Journal shares some of the proposals for Saudi Arabia’s biggest megaproject yet: a city built in the desert named Neom, where robots will outnumber humans and hologram teachers will educate genetically-enhanced students.
The details are stunning. It’s a mixture of dystopian fiction (AI surveillance cameras everywhere!) and childish imaginings (let’s build a robot dinosaur park!). Taken together, the plans remind of you what a dedicated nine-year-old can achieve in Minecraft. Yes, the scale and ambition are impressive, but it’s not like you could do this in real life, right?