Davos 2018: Key Takeaways That Compel Us to Think—What’s Next?

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Global Leaders Take the Center Stage at The World Economic Forum in Davos to Focus on Technology Trends, Gender Balance at Work, and the Uncertainty Around Data, AI, and Government Policies

The World Economic Forum 2018, a three-day event concluded on January 26. Like all its previous editions, the 2018 WEF in Davos played host to a conglomeration of global leaders from all the spheres of life.

We bring you a quick recollection of all the ideas – quotes and summaries from the WEF Davos 2018 that compel us to think what’s next in store for businesses, and consumers across the globe.

Here are our key takeaways—

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: The Strongest Transformative Force Ever

Joe Kaeser, President and CEO, Siemens
Joe Kaeser, President and CEO, Siemens

According to  Siemens CEO, Joe Kaeser, humans in 2018 are practically connected to every piece of information and knowledge ever created by mankind. Kaeser pointed out that if we get the digitalization right, the benefits could impact 10 billion humans by 2025!

Recommended ReadThe Future of a Modern Workplace: “HumAIns” are Coming

In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we will see the rise of ‘cyber-physical’ systems —something that will wipe out millions of jobs, and create a billion others.

The Power of Women, the Rise of AI and the Role of Government

In a prepared speech read at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos 2018, Pope Francis urged the community of businesses leaders to ensure that Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and other technological innovations contributed to the service of humanity.

Read Also: The Butterfly Effect”: Rich Data & AI for Richer Personalized Customer Experience in 2018

At Davos 2018, Jack Ma, Alibaba Founder, and Executive Chairman, attributed the success of his company to women in their senior management. With 37% of their senior management led by women, the Alibaba CEO found that gender balance is the key to running a company with care and wisdom.

According to the Alibaba CEO, the rise of machines and AI could have a negative impact on the human race, if the end result disables humans from their core tasks.

“Nobody can stop trade… Nobody can stop globalization. If trade stops, war starts.”

In a blog, Njideka U. Harry, President and CEO of Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF) mentions that “everyone benefits when companies have a diverse workforce, where women are given fair opportunities and paid a wage similar to that of their male counterparts.”

Read MoreFears Notwithstanding, Executives Believe AI and Robotics Could Improve Workplace

"Tiger" NV Tyagarajan, President and CEO, Genpact
NV (Tiger) Tyagrajan, President and CEO, Genpact

In another blog, NV (Tiger) Tyagrajan, CEO of Genpact states the need to up the game in AI adoption across all levels of the society. The companies that are preparing to become future-ready must ensure that they focus on reskilling of employees, and making ‘continuous innovation and learning’ a part of their business DNA.

Role of Data Responsibility in the New Economy

In her article for Davos 2018, Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, and CEO of IBM Corporation, stated that every event in human life can now be expressed in the form of ‘data’. So, is data the new-age currency for businesses to sustain growth, outgrow revenues and seamlessly integrate with our daily lives? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

Ginni Rometty Chairman, President, and CEO, IBM
Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, and CEO, IBM

While data is not a replacement for human wisdom, if handled with responsibility, it can create value for all sections of the society.

Responsibility in handling data could answer questions related to transparency, security, encryption, and data governance as regulated by the laws of the land.

Ginni also clarified in her Davos 2018 piece that IBM will not provide client data to any government’s surveillance programme.

Davos 2018 Reveals The Future of Trust 

As a marketer, I am forced to think about all the multi-dimensional challenges and opportunities arising out of a hypothetical stream of AI + IoT capabilities. Without a flexible governance framework on how AI + IoT capabilities would impact human lives, it is impossible to suggest how new-age technologies would shape what we think and how we work with machines.

The future of trust arising from Davos 2018 would include the participation of modern technologists, business leaders, marketers, social media influencers, political groups, and yes, the ‘HumAIns’ that you may be planning to build in the near future.

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