Emerging Technologies

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and other emerging technologies are expected to have a significant effect on the agriculture, health and manufacturing sectors that currently provide the economic base for Camrose, Alberta. This project gathered data from businesses in Camrose, Alberta to ascertain: (a) the degree to which businesses are anticipating, planning and/or preparing for technology driven disruptions; (b) new and existing business models that business owners and managers predict will become the basis of the future rural economy; and (c) workforce reskilling needs that should be introduced into the current workforce.

The City of Camrose was provided with a final report.  The report provides an overview of the existing literature examining the impacts of automation, and suggests how policymakers and the business community (specifically in Camrose) can prepare for and address various challenges. The literature points to trends in existing automation technologies across western and northern economies globally, as well as the current and predicted effects of automation across Canada, including in rural areas. In order to minimize job loss and workplace disruption due to emerging technologies, the literature states that policymakers must find ways to reskill workers, improve digital literacy, and fill education gaps, particularly for those who work low-skill, physically routine jobs. Employers and the business community also needs to be prepared to integrate automation technologies into their operations with their current staff and skill sets in mind. This project is was in partnership with the City of Camrose and funded through a grant from the Government of Alberta's Community and Regional Economic Support program. The project took place between June 2019 and May 2020.