Story Highlights He noted that while AI poses a potential threat to traditional call centre operations in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, it presents opportunities in the high-skill areas of programming and development. Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, said there is ongoing discussion involving the Ministry, Jamaica Information Technology and Services Alliance (JITSA), Jamaica Computer Society (JCS), and Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) on how best AI can be leveraged for the country’s benefit. The Government is looking to position Jamaica to take advantage of the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) in boosting economic growth and job creation.AI is the area of computer science that is focused on the creation of intelligent machines that operate like humans. Some of the attendant activities include speech recognition and problem-solving.Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, said there is ongoing discussion involving the Ministry, Jamaica Information Technology and Services Alliance (JITSA), Jamaica Computer Society (JCS), and Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) on how best AI can be leveraged for the country’s benefit.He noted that a recent analysis of 12 developed economies incorporating AI in their engagements, conducted by United Kingdom (UK)-based software designers, Accentra, showed that those countries could potentially double their growth rates by 2035.Dr. Wheatley was addressing a JCS symposium at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters in Mona, St. Andrew, recently, under the theme ‘The Future of IT Jobs’,He noted that while AI poses a potential threat to traditional call centre operations in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, it presents opportunities in the high-skill areas of programming and development.“AI does not flourish without the help of the programmer and architects behind the scene,” he pointed out, noting that there is great demand for highly skilled programmers in countries like Germany, Japan, China and the UK.As such, Dr. Wheatley said that more must be done to tap into the country’s pool of computer science graduates and incorporate them into higher-level BPO jobs.“We must, therefore, look to increase the number of computer science graduates from our tertiary institutions, so that we can take advantage of the clear opportunities that will come from the new demand for highly skilled programmers,” he stressed.Dr. Wheatley said Jamaicans must become creators of technology products and solutions, rather than being mere consumers.“I am confident in our people. We have talent, we have the innovative capacity and, more importantly, we have the know-how,” he said.“We have to be very creative and innovative in how we incorporate artificial intelligence and not try to shun it aside, because it will enable us to do more and it makes our jobs much easier,” he noted further. The Government is looking to position Jamaica to take advantage of the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) in boosting economic growth and job creation.
zoomImage Courtesy: Port of Corpus Christi The Port of Corpus Christi Commission has approved a long-term lease agreement with Lone Star Ports, a joint venture between the Carlyle Group and the Berry Group, for approximately 200 acres on Harbor Island to develop a petroleum export terminal.As informed, Lone Star Ports’ facility on Harbor Island is designed to be the deepest-draft safe harbor crude export facility in the nation when commissioned, connecting US crude producers with all major international markets.Immediately upon completion, the facility’s two docks will have access to the improved 56’ ship channel depth, making it the United States’ first and only onshore terminal capable of fully loading Suezmax vessels and nearly full loading very large crude carriers (VLCCs).The 50-year lease agreement is expected to provide significant accretive value in the port’s annual operating revenues, according to Port of Corpus Christi.Earlier this year, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded the first dredging contract for the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project to the largest US dredging company, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company (GLDD), to deepen the channel to a depth of 56’ from the channel entrance to Harbor Island, and a planned depth of 54’ throughout the rest of the harbor.“This long-term commitment is testament to the significance of the Corpus Christi gateway for American energy exports, which are expected to triple in the next decade,” Sean Strawbridge, Chief Executive Officer for the Port of Corpus Christi, commented.“A 50-year lease agreement with the Carlyle Group and the Berry Group joint-venture company, Lone Star Ports, is not only complementary to our existing marine terminal infrastructure but also positions the Port of Corpus Christi to be the preferred outlet for US-produced crude exports,” he added.Civil works for this facility repurposing project have been underway for the past year ahead of finalizing a definitive lease agreement, including the demolition of existing dock structures from a previous decades old Exxon crude import terminal on Harbor Island. The execution of this new lease enables the parties to commence major equipment and materials procurements and other construction efforts.“This project on Harbor Island is the next pivotal step in directing the growing crude oil production in the United States to global markets via our Port of Corpus Christi,” Charles W. Zahn, Jr., Port of Corpus Christi Commission Chairman, said.