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The opportunities AI presents US Virgin Islands businesses

by | Jul 26, 2023 | Economy, United States Virgin Islands | 0 comments

The technology of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has disrupted a significant amount of industries. From education to tech and journalism to business, AI has upended our work process. The United States Virgin Islands are no different. The truth is, in 2023, there is no avoiding AI. From dentists to McDonald’s, everyone is using AI. Ever wondered why McDonald’s knows your order before you even speak? That is AI.

Although AI has been around since the early 1900s, it has now come to the forefront of everyone’s mind. Mike Fazio, Founder and CEO of WORKFORCE180, explains just how crucial understanding how AI is being used today is. In Fazio’s view, US Virgin Islands’ businesses should begin making plans for integration as soon as possible—regardless of organization size.

Many smaller businesses around the world are already capitalizing on the time-saving ways AI can deliver a better customer experience. Due to the rapid evolution of AI, the sooner one begins to learn the technology, the better off the business will be in the long run. For example, one use of AI could be to assist job seekers in bringing better outcomes and creating a more productive team. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses as an employer and identifying jobs that are looking for good candidates will help businesses grow in the long run.

A recent study from the Boston Consultant Group states that 80% of leaders say that they use Generative AI regularly, which can help benefit major and small businesses alike.

Regular users of Generative AI also recognize the technology’s transformative potential, both to improve and to threaten work. “Generative AI is helping businesses cut back and save time. Businesses are now saving, on average, two hours a day. It is just an opportunity to grow business,” Shomari Moorehead, creative director at Crucian Point, said.

However, as Michael Carty, Founder of Smartnet, explains, “AI is not a replacement for organic intelligence. Creativity and vision are still important.” The challenge is that there is not a lot about USVI online, so it is about digitizing. “There comes a point to digitize. You do not want to be in a situation where disaster strikes and you do not have access to it. We have to make data available,” Carty said. Businesses can choose to use it to prepare for what is coming, as it can automate business.

Langley Shazorm says as a “policy drafter, Chat GPT vastly increases the speed at which I can create a foundation, framework, or outline.” Another element of AI is its capacity to create new jobs. AI has been able to transcribe text to speech recognition, so editors for such practices will be needed. There have been additions to the health sector with the implementation of chatbots as well. However, in the US Virgin Islands, there will need to be policies set in place to ensure accountability.

Another development this year in AI has been the widely popular growth of ChatGPT. The accessibility of ChatGPT has staggered many due to its simplicity. One simply asks it a question, and it becomes very conversational. By using ChatGPT, one is connecting with an entity that has all human knowledge.

ChatGPT is content that was created by humans but can just do it at faster, more efficient levels. Max Schelkopf, Senior mobile consultant at Engaged by Cell, said, “We are all fluent in Google, but ChatGPT is like learning a new language.”

Is ChatGPT just a gateway piece of technology? Wikipedia on steroids? It is a small example of a greater whole and can be used as a good introduction to get one comfortable with AI technology. However, the technology of AI still has some improvements to make. For example, at times, AI will only provide one response. If that result is false, then you only know a false statement. How, then, can you be confident in the answer? There still needs to be a way to ensure it is delivering what you want it to.

Although AI can be used to great benefit, regulation of this new technology will be crucial moving forward. “Rules exist for a reason, and we should be following such guidelines. How do we use it in the right way?” Michelle Francis asked.

There is a balance that must be found cautiously using this latest technology and innovation without falling behind. Laws tend to lag behind innovation. Look at the internet and how long it took Congress to enact broadband rules.

Sonia Boyce says AI can be used as an assistant. Labor is usually the most expensive cost, so cutting down on that is crucial. AI gives more resources to a business to make that jump and be an entrepreneur. “AI should be used as a tool to assist you, not to replace you,” Boyce warns.

The 1990s was the growth of the internet, the 2000s was the growth of the cell phone, the 2010s was the growth of social media, and the 2020s will be the growth of AI.

By decades end, we will be as familiar with AI as with social media, as hard as that can be to imagine with its ever-changing nature. Certain businesses are viewing AI as a curiosity and not implementing it. Businesses in the US Virgin Islands would benefit tremendously from implementing AI into their daily workflow, no matter how scary that may be.

“We need to take baby steps and learn to walk with it before we run with it. One thing is sure is we cannot ignore it,” Schelkopf said.



Jesse Dimich-Louvet

Jesse Dimich-Louvet

Jesse W. Dimich-Louvet is a senior journalism major and political science minor at the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University. He grew up between Billings, Montana, and Paris, France, and covers politics and sports for Temple. At Pasquines, Jesse is a former US Virgin Islands Affairs Intern Editor.


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