Business leaders from Wyoming gathered in November to discuss the future of the state’s economy and ways to improve their own businesses. The event featured several panels, including one on emerging technologies and the first-ever economic forecast.
During the emerging technologies panel, AI was a main topic of discussion, with Ed Seidel, president of the University of Wyoming (UW), advocating for more AI research at UW. Petroleum Engineering Professor Dr. Mohammad Piri agreed and discussed how AI could be used for space exploration, specifically predicting where oil is stored so it can be extracted.
The first ever economic forecast was also part of the event, with elected leaders and legislators discussing topics related to Wyoming’s economy. Dr. Anne Alexander, assistant dean of the UW College of Business, provided an overview of the state’s economy, noting that inflation is beginning to moderate and the population is expected to increase. However, she raised concerns about affordable housing, access to childcare for workers and low college-going numbers as systemic problems facing the state. She felt that agriculture, hospitality and construction were doing well while natural resources, mining and financial services had a mixed outlook due to their complexity.
Another major topic covered was resolving Wyoming’s housing crisis. The issue garnered a variety of responses with Megan Degenfelder, state superintendent of public instruction suggesting that government should not interfere in housing market but instead reduce regulations while Secretary of State Chuck Gray argued that focus should be on infrastructure needs first before addressing housing crisis. Senate President Ogden Driskill and Speaker of House Albert Sommers both believed that government needed to step in and help solve problem at hand