Sun | Apr 22, 2018

'Tech charge' - GraceKennedy Foundation lecture highlights the importance of technology

Published:Friday | March 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Professor Gordon Shirley (second right), chairman, GraceKennedy Limited, presents a gift to Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr, lecturer at the 2018 GraceKennedy Foundation Public Lecture. Looking on are Senator Don Wehby (right), Group CEO of GraceKennedy Limited, and Dr Fred Kennedy, chairman of the GraceKennedy Foundation.

Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee Jr delivered the 2018 GraceKennedy Foundation Lecture entitled 'Tech Charge - Smart Homes, Smart Businesses, Smart Nations' to a large and diverse audience at the event held at the Jamaica Pegasus recently.

Lyew-Ayee Jr highlighted the subject of technology from both historical and utilitarian perspectives. The historical review made it clear that not all the previous expectations of technology had, indeed, come to pass, especially in a way that would impact our day-to-day lives.

"The real revolution in terms of everyday impact has taken place in the area of communication and data sharing. It is this that drives the rapidly growing linkages and interconnectedness, creating a borderless world irrespective of geography," Lyew-Ayee Jr said.

"Cultural exchanges occur freely as countries consume each other's cultural exports in the form of television, movies, or music. Job opportunities are created as high-speed Internet allows for offshore outsourcing, and loss of jobs to outsourcing or automation creates opportunities for entirely new careers to develop," Lyew-Ayee Jr added.

He noted that the business landscape is dominated by technology as all different types of businesses, including research and development and product offerings, all depend on technology.

Lyew-Ayee Jr also outlined the many advantages and vulnerabilities of such a phenomenon. He shared that Jamaica is not to be left behind and said that plans were already in place for New Kingston to become a smart city. He also cited the work being done in the area of data collection and digitising of information by various arms of the Government.

The lecture generated an intense and vibrant discussion as members of the audience sought to learn more about 'teching' charge of their lives in a modern world.

The GraceKennedy Foundation Lecture has established itself over the past three decades as an invaluable instrument of social and intellectual discourse as it examines various national and regional issues.