Prime Minister of Grenada Dickon Mitchell is urging Caribbean entrepreneurs to invest in artificial intelligence technologies (AI), as a means to optimise and transform business across the region.
Mitchell, who delivered the keynote address at a business forum held at the Grenada Trade Centre on Tuesday (February 28), stressed that AI could prove advantageous and that the region should not be slow to capitalise.
“The advent of artificial intelligence has the potential to transform businesses in the Caribbean and around the world. Through the use of AI, businesses can analyse data faster and more accurately, identify trends and make better decisions,” he said in St George’s.
“OpenAI, for example, has made significant strides in the field of natural language processing and machine learning, creating new opportunities for businesses to improve customer service and create new products. The impact of AI will continue to grow, and investing in AI will ensure a competitive edge in regional and global markets,” Mitchell added.
Bevil Wooding, a director at the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), and co-founder of CaribNOG opined that “the Caribbean is ready right now to take the next step in the digital revolution, and AI is part of our arriving future”.
“However, our adoption of AI or any emerging technology should align with what our businesses and societies need. It is critical that Caribbean governments, business leaders, technocrats and academics make technology the servant not the master of our development agenda, as we collectively pursue our business interests, national priorities and regional development programmes,” he continued.
For his part, Kevin Khelawan, co-founder of Teleios Systems Limited, said that: “AI is going to significantly impact Caribbean businesses, and it is critical that we understand that. Business leaders must connect business strategy with technology adoption.”
“AI will likely move a lot faster than the Internet did, in terms of its transformative and disruptive power. So Caribbean business leaders will need to be proactive in considering how we transform our businesses to remain relevant in a world where AI proliferates,” he mused.
“Expertise in next-generation technologies like AI should be something that the Caribbean region is producing and exporting, not just importing and consuming,” said Stephen Lee, CEO of Arkitechs Inc. and programme director of CaribNOG.
“It is not enough to simply future-proof Caribbean networks at the infrastructure level against climate-related threats, such as hurricanes. As a region, we must go further, and prioritise the development of expertise in emergent technologies that are relevant to our Caribbean context, through deliberate capacity-building and knowledge-sharing, so that Caribbean thinkers and doers can work together to build regionally relevant solutions that are globally marketable.”
Hosted by the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the business forum was part of Grenada ICT Week, spanning from February 27 to March 3 and brought together entrepreneurs, ICT professionals, civil society members and international experts to discuss the role of AI in society.