Prime Minister Davis’s Remarks at the University of The Bahamas-King Abdullah University AI Course Completion

To the representatives from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology,

His Excellency, Ambassador Rick Fox,

The Executive Leadership, Faculty and Staff here at the University of The Bahamas,

And, of course, our trailblazing young scholars and other guests,

A pleasant good afternoon.

Today, I believe we have accomplished something special.

I see this as the start of what will hopefully be an ongoing initiative, as we embrace the power of strategic partnerships and innovative ideas that can empower our people for success.

The world is currently going through an era of rapid change.

They are calling it the triple transition, which includes climate change, demographic change, as well as digital change.

The Bahamas is experiencing each of these changes in profound ways. 

Climate change represents the biggest threat we have ever faced, as well as the biggest opportunity to re-align our society with our values to make the world cleaner, healthier, more prosperous, and more just.

Then there is digital transformation, which requires tremendous investments in infrastructure, and, of course, education in digital skills so that our workforce can remain competitive in this new era.

The impact of this global transition is so broad that embracing these changes as opportunities requires the integration of climate resilience and digital innovation into every aspect of our national development models.

That is why I am so proud of what we have accomplished today.

We have opened the eyes of these young Bahamian scholars to the vast world of digital transformation through AI and machine learning. 

We have placed this great potential at their fingertips so that they can go on to be, not just consumers of digital technology, but also digital producers, disruptors, and innovators.

We live in a time when AI has become commonplace. Universities are grappling with the ethical implications of natural language algorithms like Chat GPT, which produce essays with just a few prompts.

Programmers and writers are using open-source AI apps to become more efficient and productive. We are seeing the widespread application of AI in every sector that is redefining how we work.

The AI revolution has already made waves here in The Bahamas.

Local businesses are using AI to collect data and empower their marketing initiatives.

My administration has pioneered the use of AI at the Ministry of Tourism, where AI chatbots are facilitating more efficient customer service and AI algorithms are helping us to identify and target likely visitors.

Even the Water and Sewerage Corporation has begun using AI to detect leaks.

But this is just the beginning.

AI is still in its infancy. In the near future, AI will take over repetitive, everyday tasks in fields as vast as engineering, programming, law, accounting, marketing, and healthcare administration. We also anticipate using AI in our current efforts to fight climate change and make our nation more climate resilient.

With these changes, some current jobs may become obsolete, but new jobs within data science and AI will emerge.

We will need a robust supply of well-trained, well-educated professionals to ensure that The Bahamas continues to keep pace with global economic developments.

And we want those professionals to be Bahamians.

Today, we have taken steps toward building that future-focused workforce with twenty bright young scholars here at UB.

Thanks to King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, with special mention to Director Albarakati and Professor Khan for partnering with us on this groundbreaking initiative.  

I hope this is the beginning of a fruitful partnership that will enrich our students and allow for the exchange of knowledge between faculty to strengthen our institutions.

Thanks to Partanna, and its CEO, His Excellency, Ambassador Rick Fox, for helping to make this partnership happen through its funding and support. Thank you, as well, for your continued commitment to the environment through your groundbreaking carbon-negative concrete that will transform the global construction industry. Ambassador Fox, you are truly a proud son of our soil. You continue to inspire us all.

Of course, I have to thank the faculty and staff here at the University of The Bahamas for their support in making this happen. They often say if you can make it at UB, you can make it anywhere. This saying has proven true, not just because of the academic integrity and rigour of UB’s programmes, but because of UB’s willingness to embrace change and opportunity.

Thank you to UB’s dynamic leadership team, President Hodder, UB’s Chair Mrs. Maynard Gibson, the Dean of the College of Business, Dr. Marlo Murphy Braynen, and your team for making this possible. 

Most importantly, thank you to the students who enrolled and committed to completing this course as an investment in their future prospects.

For those of you who go on to continue your studies in AI, either at King Abdullah University or through other avenues, I encourage you to continue exploring your interests and talents. 

Continue adding in-demand skills to your repertoire and continue being trailblazers in your respective fields. 

Congratulations to you all!

We will need bright, young leaders to take on the challenges ahead of us. Based on what I am seeing today, I am confident that the future is in good hands.

God bless you all and may He continue to bless our nation.

Thank you.