Securing Florida's Future with Artificial Intelligence

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At the Florida Chamber of Commerce, our goal is to secure Florida's future. As the leading voice of business in Florida, we are focused on leading Florida toward a diverse and sustainable economy that prioritizes global competitiveness, high-paying jobs, and vibrant and resilient communities.

At the Florida Chamber Foundation's 2023 Florida Technology and Innovation Solutions Summit, Lab22c founder and artificial intelligence (AI) expert Saif Eshoff summed up the 21st century global economy by noting that “the key to survival in this age of disruption is mindset. “Curiosity, global thinking,” he admonished business leaders in attendance when it comes to AI.

This is why Florida must continue to be a leader in AI innovation and use. The Florida Chamber is uniting Florida's business community to identify headwinds and tailwinds—whether through education and awareness, public-private partnerships on best practices, or smart public policy development.

Mark Wilson is president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. (Courtesy, Mark Wilson)

With one out of every 13 jobs in the United States being created here in Florida, our state has a responsibility to take advantage of technological innovation for economic growth. With the potential to revolutionize industries from agriculture to healthcare and space exploration to advanced manufacturing, Florida businesses must embrace AI to stay ahead of the curve and stay competitive.

The Sunshine State has already made significant strides in AI research and development, with several universities and research institutes investing heavily in the field. For example, the University of Florida has established a new AI research initiative aimed at accelerating the development and discovery of new AI technologies and their applications.

Florida farmers are also quickly adopting new technology and applying AI to revolutionize the state's agricultural sector. Aerial drones with sensors can be used to survey land, track crop health, and perform operations such as seeding and spraying to improve efficiency, reduce manual labor, and further protect the environment. is being done. For example, AI is being used to develop irrigation systems that respond to soil and environmental data in real time, effectively conserving water resources.

Florida's healthcare sector is also paving the way for AI technology. Naples Comprehensive Health (NCH) recently announced that it is the first healthcare system in the country to expand its cardiac program by adding AI to help detect early-stage heart valve disease.

Florida entrepreneurs also stand to benefit greatly from adopting AI technology, and our business community has already begun deploying AI in many innovative ways. One of the primary benefits of AI is its ability to automate repetitive tasks, freeing employees to focus on higher-level projects, which increases productivity, efficiency and accuracy.

Similarly, in Florida's PreK-12 system, AI is already being used to help develop curriculum and lesson plans so teachers can focus their time and energy on teaching. And those in tourism — one of Florida's top industries — have used AI for everything from travel planning and itineraries to targeted advertising and social media posts.

AI is giving businesses a competitive edge. Florida's economy is already globally competitive, ranking as the 15th largest economy in the world. By using AI for tasks like market analysis and product development, Florida-based businesses can quickly adapt to market changes and stay one step ahead of their competitors not only at home but around the world.

To achieve these goals for a forward-thinking, modern state economy, our lawmakers should take note of the ways AI is already being deployed in Florida. Every new technology demands a critical eye, but it's important that we don't stifle the innovations that are advancing in our rush to regulate our businesses. If we understand the real benefits, we can identify and pursue a balanced, effective approach to AI adoption that sets an example for the rest of America.

Over the next six years, Florida is projected to grow an additional 2.8 million net new residents and create an additional 1.33 million new jobs. By embracing technological innovation, we can make Florida our nation's best hope. Let's turn to that future together.

Mark Wilson is president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. He lives in Tallahassee.

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