Puerto Rico’s economy could “greatly benefit” at the structural level with the opportunities brought by technologies such as the cloud or artificial intelligence, which could boost its GDP to 3.8% in the next decade, according to a study presented by Microsoft Corp.
“The impact of AI on the Puerto Rico labor market” is a study developed by international consulting firm DuckerFrontier and commissioned by Microsoft Latin America that mainly addresses the island’s current position regarding the adoption of Artificial Intelligence for tasks related to the economy, society and the labor market.
The study highlights that: in a simulation of maximum adoption of Artificial Intelligence technology in the next 10 years, Puerto Rico could increase its GDP growth rate from current projections of 1.6% annual average growth until 2030, at levels ranging from 2.7% to 3.8%.
This boost could be accompanied by an increase in labor productivity of 3.8 times and in the demand for more qualified workers.
According to this scenario, the business services industry would be the most benefited, with a 50% increase in the amount of new work hours. The second most benefited industry would be manufacturing (+33%) and the third, commerce, hospitality and tourism (+29%).
“To achieve this, it becomes imperative to foster the capabilities of the future workforce, and develop the technical skills of current workers. If we collaborate in an agile way, we will be able to take advantage of the available and future technology to generate more equitable societies,” said Herbert Lewy, general manager of Microsoft Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
Artificial Intelligence represents one of the trends in digital transformation that is impacting society in general, so the change must be adapted on several levels.
In this context, and to positively encourage digital transformation and present a true perspective of Artificial Intelligence in Latin America, Microsoft counducted its second edition of the Microsoft AI+Tour in San Juan this week, marking the third stop in eight countries, to show the power of this technological trend in the future of business and society.
In terms of professions, highly qualified positions could be increased by 7 percentage points by 2030 (from 51% in the current scenario to 58% in the scenario of maximum AI benefit), with professionals experiencing the highest growth (+42%), technicians or technical level professionals (+35%), and managers (+23%), said Pablo González, an analyst with DuckerFrontier.
To define whether Puerto Rico can achieve this additional annual growth by developing AI and maximizing the cascade of effects, DuckerFrontier drew up the so-called AI Readiness Index, that showed that the island is in a relatively favorable position to accelerate the adoption of AI and to meet the needs of human capital.
As part of its commitment to democratize AI, Microsoft has been spearheading a number of projects to expose people of a range of ages to technology. In Puerto Rico, it works with the Department of Education and private schools to educate students and teachers on its programs.
The software giant is also collaborating with co-working space Engine4 to foster the adoption and learning of knowledge in Artificial Intelligence, cloud and IoT in the entrepreneur, developer and student community.