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Good News For Us About Artificial Intelligence (AI)

We always hear the gloom and doom about new technologies. Now it is AI. Will it cause

massive unemployment and disrupt our lives? Let’s look at the positive side for the Wilmington Region:


•At UNCW, the CIE (Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship) has been offering free

introductory training and discussion groups open to the public. Led by outstanding faculty volunteers and experienced tech and business entrepreneurs who have come together to teach, learn and share together as the technology evolves.


•We’ve already seen this cooperation spawn several promising new businesses. A new venture called OpiAID is tackling the Opioid crisis in our region with a variety of tools and a large number of enthusiastic participants from all sectors. AI will help crunch large numbers, looking for patterns that might enlighten us about treatment, communications and prevention.


•What we are seeing and learning at CIE is that the tools for using AI are improving continuously with software coming from IBM, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and others that make AI easier to use and applicable to more and more problem solving opportunities like the Opioid crisis. Before long, AI combined with sensor devices (the IoT, or Internet of Things) and 5G higher speed communications will help us control the increasingly serious traffic congestion the Wilmington Region is experiencing.


•With examples of new problems to solve such as the preceding, one can understand why leading consulting firm Accenture in a 2018 report “Reworking the Revolution” estimated that new applications of AI alone, combined with human collaboration could boost employment worldwide as much as 10% by 2020. A 2019 report from McKinsey forecasts GDP growth from AI alone by 14% by 2030. Contrast this professional analysis with the gloom and doom in some media. The Department of Defense has announced an aggressive strategy to apply AI, creating opportunities for contracts that can bring jobs and growth to the Wilmington Region.


•Our RenaissanceWilmingtonFoundation.org blogs and public forums describe the benefits to all of us in the Wilmington Region of becoming a TechHub, following the model of leading cities across the world. That agenda will be greatly accelerated if knowledge of AI and other advanced technologies are widely known in our region. We can build on the CIE model across the region by using the trained leaders from CIE and elsewhere to create AI training and discussion groups in our businesses, government and non-profit sectors. We’re here to help, but don”t wait for us. Just do it, and tell us of your successes!

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Renaissance Wilmington Foundation

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