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Jul 25

AI and Economic Development Part II

Posted on July 25, 2023 at 9:26 AM by D'Asia Green

Recently, the graphic design platform Canva launched a new tool called Magic Write. With it, you can type five or more words that describe what you want to write, and the program will write it. 

So, I thought I’d give it a chance and see what it’s all about. Using prompts and sentences related to economic development, as well as comments or questions that we often receive yielded some pretty interesting results. While I can agree with most, some I think are subjective, and others need a little work.

In part I, I asked some general questions about AI and economic development to get a feel of the program. However, for this part, I decided to give it a little challenge and try out lists. Check them out below. 

5 things that are economic development

Economic development refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policymakers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area. Here are five things that are commonly considered as drivers of economic development:

  1. Infrastructure: This includes transportation systems, power grids, communication networks, and other public utilities that support economic activity.

  2. Education: A well-educated workforce is essential for economic growth. Education provides the knowledge and skills needed to innovate and compete in a global economy.

  3. Entrepreneurship: Encouraging entrepreneurship and small business development can create jobs, increase productivity, and drive innovation.

  4. Natural resources: Natural resources like minerals, oil, and gas can be a source of economic growth, but it's important to manage them sustainably to ensure long-term benefits.

  5. Trade: International trade can create new markets for goods and services, generate foreign investment, and provide access to new technologies and ideas.

So, what isn’t a part of economic development?

5 things that aren't economic development

Economic development is a process of improving the economic well-being of a community or region through various strategies and policies. However, there are certain things that may seem like economic development but are not. Here are five examples:

  1. Gentrification: The process of renovating and improving a neighborhood, often leads to displacement of low-income residents and small businesses.

  2. Stadiums and arenas: While they may attract tourists and generate some revenue, they often rely heavily on public funding and do not create significant long-term economic growth.

  3. Tax incentives for corporations: Providing tax breaks to corporations may attract them to a specific area, but it often comes at the expense of other businesses and does not address underlying economic issues.

  4. Shopping malls: While they may create temporary construction jobs, they often rely on low-wage retail jobs and do not address broader economic challenges faced by a community.

  5. Mega-events: Hosting events such as the Olympics or World Cup can bring short-term economic benefits, but they often require significant public investment and can lead to long-term economic challenges.

While I can agree that none of these are the answer for sustained economic development, I do believe that some are catalysts and are beneficial when it comes to getting the ball rolling. Incentives, for example, are crucial when it comes to recruiting new industries to rural areas such as ours. With new industries brings new jobs and livable wages for individuals in our communities. Not only are they then able to provide for their families, but they also become consumers who spend money at the shopping malls, stadiums and arenas, or mega-events that we would love to have here. 

So, while AI has a general idea of what is and isn’t economic development, it’s missing the subjectivity that comes along with dealing with real-world problems. In this case, AI, like the things mentioned above, is good for getting the thoughts flowing, but it’s not the be-all-end-all.

Still, I think I’ll give it another shot and see what else it has to stay. So, come back for part III.


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