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From Site Selection magazine, November 2023

Use Your Words: The Value of ‘Natural’ Intelligence

by Adam Bruns
Caricature by Bob Gravlee

f you’re like me lately, your sentences are being finished for you by more than your immediate family members.

Stories I’m reporting, emails I’m composing, texts and messages and social media posts … artificial intelligence seems to think it knows what I want to say … including right there just now. The narrow-rule, yellow-paper legal pads I use to write actual letters to people — making marks by hand — are my only safe harbor.

If I were to blindly accept its suggestions, artificial intelligence would happily (?) carry on a full conversation with itself and we would be none the wiser. Where does being none the wiser get you? Unwiser by the day.

I’m not quite to the stage of Howard Beale’s “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore” speech from Paddy Chayefsky’s film “Network.” But if you revisit that film, you’ll find one resonant moment after another, from the late Ned Beatty’s chilling speech about how the world works to Beale’s exhortation to his TV audience to remember, “I’m a human being, g--damn-it … my life has value!”

Delivering non-artificial intelligence from real conversations has been central to Site Selection’s mission and value for nearly seven decades. Page through this issue or any issue and you will see the evidence as we talk to our fellow valuable humans: governors, CEOs, students, economists, mayors, machinists, consultants, bankers, entrepreneurs, scientists and company presidents, among others.

In their own words, they tell us about strategy, community momentum, partnerships, obstacles overcome, turning points, breakthrough innovations and other conversations that opened their eyes to opportunity. They don’t tend to parrot slogans, string together jargon or worry about staying on brand. They know to whom they’re talking, and they entrust their perspectives to us in the same way our audience trusts us to tell it like it is, backed by data and analysis.

Our hope is that our global corporate end-user audience comes away with real-life business intelligence you truly won’t find anywhere else. In the process, you’ll grow wiser about places, companies, institutions and people with real value — including our advertisers, many of whom have known the value of our unique niche for a good chunk of those nearly 70 years.

For those wary of the value of the business-to-business publication space in the 21st century, let me take the opportunity in my first issue as editor in chief to say this: In print and online, Site Selection is a business publication, not a facsimile of one. Therein lies our value. We treasure your trust, and we pledge to keep real conversations going.


Adam Bruns, Editor in Chief

Adam Bruns
Editor in Chief of Site Selection magazine

Adam Bruns

Adam Bruns is editor in chief and head of publications for Site Selection, and before that has served as managing editor beginning in February 2002. In the course of reporting hundreds of stories for Site Selection, Adam has visited companies and communities around the globe. A St. Louis native who grew up in the Kansas City suburbs, Adam is a 1986 alumnus of Knox College, and resided in Chicago; Midcoast Maine; Savannah, Georgia; and Lexington, Kentucky, before settling in the Greater Atlanta community of Peachtree Corners, where he lives with his wife and daughter.


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