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June 2023

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The times they are a-changin’… again! 

We knew the AI revolution was coming (it’s been mentioned in the pages of this magazine all too many times over the years), but it has recently accelerated at astonishing pace.  

Seemingly out of nowhere, social feeds, newspapers and magazines have become saturated with ‘ChatGPT: friend or foe?’ op-eds and explainers to a) help us mere humans navigate the digital takeover or b) instil iRobot-style fear into us (find a bit of both in ‘Have you heard?’, P20)… and even Google’s own ‘Godfather of AI’ resigned last month over fears of the “quite scary” chatbots upending the jobs market while flooding us with misinformation… 

Scream if you want to go faster? How about scream to get off? 

We are sitting through a new revolution (admittedly, a particularly gut-knotting one for we in the media world) – and, as history has taught us all too well, change is uncomfortable… but does it have to be? 

At the risk of sounding like a TikTok therapist, can we learn to sit with that discomfort and channel it into something good? Of course! “Change is a catalyst for growth, progress and success” – not my words, the words of ChatGPT. See? 

Having to adapt to new circumstances – whether chatbots, inflation, Brexit or another crisis – often breeds innovation and creativity. This issue is a study in just that. 

Our cover feature (In Conversation With…, P40) explores how 135-year-old business JT is pivoting from being a 'TelCo’ to a ‘TechCo’, with Chief Product Officer Tom Noel overseeing an ambitious project to slash its current 4,500 products to just 450 which “meet customer needs and will be relevant in the future”. 

Mark Morgan, Chair of newly crowned RFU Championship winners Jersey Reds, speaks of the off-pitch grit and determination it has taken over the years to ensure the island side could succeed amid hardship (Unplugged, P24). 

Businesses and services many islanders take for granted are equally having to adapt to an array of obstacles. Take the mail plane, for example – falling letter volumes mean we may now end up with a ‘mail ferry’ (News, P76).  

Even beachside kiosks are making bold business choices to fend off the pressures of rising costs, staffing struggles and reduced tourism (The unsung heroes of summer, P4), with one tempting in new custom with a combination of luxurious chocolate-dipped lollies and cocktails (I’m not drooling, you are). 

Anyway, enjoy Connect, before the bots take over.

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