No business like dog show business

On Saturday, a Beaconite once again had the pleasure of covering the Humane Society of the BVI’s annual dog show, which brings together the territory’s pooches for a day of friendly competition. There isn’t an abundance of dog-friendly activities organised throughout the year besides those held by the humane society and PAW BVI, so the show presents a particular treat in seeing some familiar faces. Django unsurprisingly retained his title in the agility competition, and Toby put in a good show in every competition for which he was eligible. It was certainly a fun-filled afternoon, though a bit toasty, and the Beaconite thinks that organisers’ suggestion of holding the event earlier in the year is a good one. Besides being a great opportunity for pet-loving families to get out for some fun, the event also raises funds for the humane society. The reporter is sure the funding will prove useful considering the society’s shelter has been running near maximum capacity for years and is now reaching a critical point. Last March, the society said it had 83 animals in its care, 69 of which were adult dogs. She hopes a solution can be found to alleviate the burden.

Taxi info hubs

A Beaconite was travelling in a taxi during the recent campaign season when he struck up a conversation with the driver. The discussion started out on the election, but the driver soon branched out to provide insights into politics and everyday life in the territory. Within the 15-minute drive from Cappoons Bay, he recounted information on past elections, where to shop, the tourist sector, which candidates were likely to win, and the cost of living, among other topics. Another day, a different taxi driver provided his insights into water issues and road conditions. The Beaconite has learned similarly helpful information from taxi drivers in other countries as well. In Trinidad in 2013, for instance, a driver provided details on how to go about buying lunch and dinner in Port-of-Spain and advised him not to eat a popular packaged cake that, in his opinion, isn’t very healthy. And back in his native Guyana, taxi drivers are known to be fountains of knowledge about information ranging from society names to the prices of goods and services. Over the years, such conversations have added value to the Beaconite’s life. Without them, he would have to continue Googling information all the time, which is not nearly as much fun.

Artificial intelligence

With the rise of ChatGPT, a Beaconite is pleased to see that the territory is taking the technology seriously. Last week, there was a forum about using the platform and how educators can ensure that they facilitate the software into their curriculums. For those who aren’t aware, ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool driven by artificial intelligence technology that allows users to have human-like conversations and more. ChatGPT is able to answer questions, write essays, and compose scripts. Many people consider the new tool already to be incredibly influential in today’s world. Some argue that it will forever change the job market. In last week’s forum, panellists said the tool will likely take away jobs that can be automated while driving human-led jobs to be in higher demand. The latter category includes arts, entertainment, and others. One panellist asked viewers to think of all the human interactions they would prefer to avoid on a daily basis: things like checking out at the grocery line or getting a cup of coffee. He argued that these jobs would likely be replaced by artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, things like unique consumer products and art will become more and more in demand, driving prices for these goods up, he speculated. It’s difficult to say right now what the future will hold, panellists said, but ChatGPT appears to be a feature that is here to stay.