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From Site Selection magazine, May 2023

Everything Old Is New Again

by Mark Arend

never write a headline until after the article is complete, but this is the exception. This one begged to be used. Thinking about topics for this editorial, I kept coming back to the tsunami of artificial intelligence (AI) content lately in articles about — name your industry. Can AI do this? Will AI replace that? Dig deep enough, and it seems our smartphones will soon be our brains.

Then it occurred to me that I wrote about AI way back when. How far back? In 1988, when I was not even a year on the editorial staff of Wall Street Computer Review in New York. Our June issue that year was all about artificial intelligence and its then-current and future roles and implications for global securities firms and investment managers. My stab at it was my regular “Automated Broker” column in that issue, which profiled a securities broker in Memphis who was using an “intelligent trading system” then newly on the market to facilitate returns for his clients. I didn’t think much of it after the article was published, and I moved on to the next deadlines.

But it caught the attention of Jessica Keyes, a well-known Wall Street and IT writer, publisher and consultant, who used it as part of her research for her book “The New Intelligence | Artificial Intelligence: Ideas and Applications in Financial Services” (HarperBusiness, 1990). I was sent a review copy of it, where I learned my article was cited in the footnotes.

Thirty-five years after I wrote that article, think about how AI has evolved and is evolving more rapidly all the time. If I’ve dated myself in this column, that’s fine. But I’m curious how it could benefit the very hands-on, kick-the-tires-of-potential-sites work you do before we go too far down that road editorially here. I would welcome insights from people in your organization using AI in our context. 

Meanwhile, enjoy in this issue our annual Global Best to Invest rankings, coverage of the Mac Conway Awards (Top Economic Development Groups) and the best updates you’ll find on today’s booming EV market locations, among other need-to-know content.

Finally, this is the last issue of Site Selection our unflappable and highly talented Art Director, Scott Larsen, works on. We wish Scott every happiness as he retires after more than two decades of directing our excellent design team here at Conway Data. Thank you, Scott!

Keep it real.

Till next time,


Mark Arend, Editor in Chief

Mark Arend
Editor Emeritus of Site Selection magazine

Mark Arend

Mark Arend is editor emeritus of Site Selection, and previously served as editor in chief from 2001 to 2023. Prior to joining the editorial staff in 1997, he worked for 10 years in New York City at Wall Street Computer Review, ABA Banking Journal and Global Investment Technology. Mark graduated from the University of Hartford (Conn.) in 1985 and lives near Atlanta, Georgia.


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