The WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM (WEF) was held on May 22-26 last year, and Mr. Ali Ülker and I attended.  A short while after, based on my notes, I shared with you both an overall assessment of Davos and a summary of the panels I attended. ( .  This year WEF was held in Davos between January 16-20th.  I didn’t attend in person this year, but I joined some chosen sessions online, formed a working group and discussed the presentations and there came out some summaries which I think you can benefit from.  A little late due to the earthquake and other things, but now I present a summary of some of those sessions.  These are the issues that caught my attention and my impressions of them.  As for the comments, I’ll leave them up to you…

Here are the 13 topics I’ll be covering:

1) De-Globalization or Re-Globalization?

2) Philanthropy: A Catalyst for Protecting Our Planet

3) Sport in Industry and Society

4) Cultural Leaders as a Catalyst of Change with Refik Anadol

5) Preparing 1 Billion People for Tomorrow’s Economy

6) The Geopolitics of Industry

7) China’s Next Chapter

8) Democracy: The Way Forward

9) Generative AI

10) The Clear and Present Danger of Disinformation

11) Saudi Arabia’s Transformation in a Changing Global Context

12) Is Rapid Growth Still Possible?

13) Artificial Intelligence and White-Collar Jobs

#artificialintelligence #ai #davos #worldeconomicforum #economy #globalization #art

I gave the above title to the World Economic Forum 2023 article, but at first, you may wonder, “Why this title?” Be patient, as the article progresses, you will well understand why.

1) De-Globalization or Re-Globalization?

The ties that bind the world economy together have frayed in recent years.  So, has globalization come to an end, or is a resurgence expected?

Participants: Ian Bremmer– Moderator, President, Eurasia Group, Peter Szijjanto – Hungarian Foreign Minister, Niall Ferguson– Historian, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Ngaire Woods– Dean, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, Adam Tooze– Director, Europe Institute, Columbia University.

The central theme of Davos is global fragmentation and examining the possibilities for collaboration.  Adam Tooze coined the term “poly-crisis” for a divergent distancing from globalization caused by climate conditions, extraordinary financial actions by central banks, the pandemic and war.  It can be said that poly-crisis was the central theme of the whole event.

It was stated that in the next ten years, there would be a period in which international relations will be restructured; globalization will not be abandoned in terms of trade and direct capital investments; however, regional cooperation in the political and defense fields will be seen.  Although stagnation was observed in some metrics (the ratio of global trade to global industrial production, capital flows), this situation was not observed in other areas (globalization of services, trade within the EU); it was said that the normal course of history would continue and there will be no real drift from globalization.

Of course, it was emphasized that the Second Cold War has been a negative situation for Europe.  It was said “Mutual respect and open communication channels are very important in international relations.  United States is trying to hinder China’s technological development, but if globalization is in China’s interest and the United States softens relations, China will respond.  But, in the US, there is a consensus of both political parties on limiting China’s development.”

However, it was also stated that the effort to separate Western economies from China would not be successful: “Europe’s largest vehicle battery factory is being built in Hungary by a Chinese company.  Seven of the world’s top 10 largest battery companies are Chinese, while the others are Korean.  Western European automotive companies want to switch to fully electric vehicles by the 2030s, but they need batteries.  That’s why automotive and battery factories are to be positioned side by side.  We are moving to closer relations economically, if not politically.”

Europe is, in fact, a market where technologies from abroad come together.  If we consider the effects of this situation on Turkey, my view is that the subsidiary industry in Turkey will disappear.  Because the truth is that Turkey is still trying to protect the old factories instead of adapting to the new situation.

Later on, it was mentioned that just as it is difficult to prevent globalization, it is also difficult to quickly move away from fossil fuels.  Determining a “real” carbon price and ensuring that it does not constantly change in line with political targets is considered critical for the transition to green energy.  It was also mentioned that the defining the green energy ideologically excluding nuclear energy was negative in terms of carbon emissions.

The first globalization trend developed with the hegemony of England and the second with the support of free trade and capital flow by the USA.  In the Second Cold War, in the competition between the USA and China, the continuation of the Communist Party rule is an indispensable factor for China, for which the continuation of economic growth is critical.  It was put forward that this, in turn, would support the continuation of globalization.  In summary, according to the speeches made in the session, globalization will continue.

2) Philanthropy: A Catalyst for Protecting Our Planet

Only 2% of global philanthropy (between US$7.5-12.5 billion) goes to climate action.  However, there is a rapidly growing philanthropic interest in helping companies and governments.  How could public and private players better harness the power of philanthropy to close the $100 trillion gap for equitable climate and nature solutions by 2050?  How would this affect needs in other areas?

Participants: Gim Huay Neo – Moderator, Managing Director, Center for Nature and Climate, World Economic Forum, Mark Carney, United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, United Nations Badr Jafar, Chief Executive Officer, Crescent Enterprises, Desmond Kuek, Chief Executive Officer, Temasek Trust, Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Ministry of International Cooperation of Egypt.

It was said that we need retraining and accelerating the investments needed  to help put an end to the merciless destruction of our ecosystems.  What was discussed later can be summarized as follows: If you look at the Global Climate Risk Index, you can see that almost two-thirds of the countries which are most vulnerable to the climate crisis are in South and Southeast Asia.  So, this is a serious concern for everyone in Asia.  Hence these are huge challenges that we have to solve.  We know that no one can do this alone.  So what we want to do in the big plan is collaborative philanthropy, and bringing the public, private and philanthropic sectors together to address more structural, environmental, and social challenges.  That’s why ” Philanthropy Asia Alliance ” was established last September.  It aims to bring together collective resources and expert teams to bring comprehensive solutions to Asia as a force for good.  This is an active alliance focused on action.

People on earth will also help promote the kind of regional peace and progress we want to see.  Climate philanthropy, philanthropy in general, is called the forgotten child of the capitalist system.  Strategic philanthropy is run in partnership with businesses and the government.  So in many ways, I think climate philanthropy can connect business, government, and civil society towards better outcomes.

What does climate philanthropy really mean, which is the main topic of this session?  Can something that has been legislated become philanthropic?  For all this, for the climate crisis, and for the protection of the world, laws are constantly being passed.  This is something we have to do anyway.  Would it be philanthropic?  To me, it’s more of a cultural thing; It’s a kind of sign of goodwill.  First of all, there must be such an intention in society.  More awareness and capital are needed.  Of course, it should not be forgotten that the most important factor is education.  Not everything can be solved by charity, nor should it be.  We need to learn this from the very beginning and assimilate it into our culture.

3) Sport in Industry and Society

The growing demand for sports is driving organizations to explore innovative ways to capture engagement and brand equity in light of digital disruption as they use their power to shape healthier and more inclusive communities.  How can sports improve economic growth and social impact?

Participants: David Kenny, Moderator, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nielsen, Erica Alessandri, Member of the Board, Technogym.

It was a session where the point which sports have reached with technology was discussed.  Sports are the most important media format today, and people rely heavily on it.  To give an example from the USA, in 2022, 93 of the top 100 TV programs of the year were about sports.  We can say that the value of sports programs has increased much faster than traditional programs.  The reason for this is that while people’s entertainment preferences are distributed over different channels, sports programs are watched at the same time.

Today, the place of technology in sports is increasing rapidly day by day.  For example, you can leverage AI and insight data to improve performance and deliver personalized training programs for athletes and amateurs alike.  Technology is a great tool to monitor our body health while doing sports and to detect and improve potential problems early.

Thanks to technology, you can connect users to their favorite champions.  For example, we can create training programs with the trainers of athletes and connect them and enable consumers to train like their favorite champions.  So this is also a great way to build an emotional connection between consumers and athletes.  In addition, doing sports with augmented and virtual reality and gamification increases our performance and motivation.  Today, we see that there are quite a lot of applications in this sense.  Thanks to the data, the program can be adapted according to the user’s performance.  This is helpful in terms of exercising for faster, superior results,  and also permanent behavior change takes place.

Subscriptions to media platforms can sometimes generate much more economic value than TV.  As an example, we measured Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime.  More people subscribe to Amazon Prime than regular daily membership subscriptions because there is American football.

YouTube is also a good platform for sports interactivity.  There is also a lot of opportunity in this field regarding virtual reality and the metaverse.  It’s definitely a great result when these platforms integrate people with sports and allow people to share this experience even if they can’t physically connect.

If you ask me, in order to see the real effect of sports, it is necessary to compare sports competitions with a religious ritual or an open-air concert.  Let’s consider a religious ritual, such as Sunday mass or Friday prayer.  Which of these gets the most participation?  Probably not the time spent, but in terms of access, the most participation is in religious rituals, then in sports competitions, and then in concerts.  This is a topic worthy of an impartial discussion.

4) Cultural Leaders as a Catalyst of Change with Refik Anadol

Exploring Refik Anadol’s groundbreaking approaches with data narratives and artificial intelligence in his collaborations with commercial companies, educational institutions, scientists, designers, and architects…

Contributor: Refik Anadol, Art Director and Digital Artist

The words that impressed Refik Anadol the most when he started his artistic career were: “One of the things that our grandchildren will find strangest in us is that we distinguish digital from reality.” This was a phrase used by famous science fiction writer William Gibson in 2007.  True; Where does the physical world begin and where does the digital world begin?  Today, we live in a world where these limits have dissappeared.  In this new world, sometimes we don’t know who is in control.

Refik Anadol starts with the following basic question: “What Does It Mean to Be Human in the 21st Century?” Refik Anadol sees data as a kind of material and memory.  According to him, artificial intelligence is also an extension of the mind.  As a digital art approach, he started with the question: “If machines can learn, can they dream?  If they can dream, how can we visualize it?” Refik Anadol’s Studio collects billions of visual memories and creates new data universes from there.  Data universes with different themes and their visual simulations emerge from the interpretation of digital memories from a different perspective.  The variability and dynamism of real life find their place in these narratives.  For example, Refik Anadol sees the constantly changing weather conditions in a building projection in Berlin, where artificial intelligence interprets and transforms it into a visual narrative, as proof that artificial intelligence can actually be a storyteller and can dream.  In a different installation, by collecting both the visuals and the scents of all flora plants, he created an experience in which he recreated the scents of flowers in the flora with a special technique, besides the visual narrative of the same reality by interpreting it with artificial intelligence.

Anadol then attributes the developments to the pandemic and says: “NFT, whose star has risen with the pandemic, is an important technology, especially for creative producers.  It is an important development in terms of accelerating not only the ownership of art but also its transformation into the economy.  Combining the generative art forms that live on the blockchainand the continuity and dynamism of reality with the help of sensors like sound, temperature, image, emotion, etc.  and transforming it into a real-time variable art form (dynamic NFT) after processing with artificial intelligence is one of the most exciting developments.” In one of his last major projects in this field, the sound and light show performed at Casa Batllo, one of Gaudi’s signature works in Barcelona, brought together the building’s past memory, data and current weather information to create a real-time dynamic building cladding.

Here, the binding power of the art that unites people and brings them closer to each other comes to the fore.

Refik Anadol, who defines himself as a folk artist working in public spaces, states that he tries to use art with a focus on effect for a good cause.  In this context, he wants to bring generative art and dynamic NFTs to his next big metaverse project, Dataland.

Anadol concludes: “By using the power of art, cultural leaders can play an important role in raising awareness and solving the world’s major problems.”

Of course, this is true, but we must not forget one thing here, the real artist is Refik Anadol, not artificial intelligence.  Artificial intelligence is just a tool, something like an artist’s paint or brush, nothing more.

So, when does artificial intelligence itself become an artist?  If it develops an attitude to itself, if it does something that we do not do, then it becomes an artist.  Of course, artificial intelligence is much more efficient than a human because it has no other problems, it simply does not even get hungry, but for me, it is no different from a robot working under orders.  It is used as a technical tool.  If the thing were in artificial intelligence, artists would have come out from computer guys.  That’s why Refik Anadol is still an artist because the artist is the one who has willpower.  No matter how much we talk about digitalization and technology, we should not forget the real artist.

5) Preparing 1 Billion People for Tomorrow’s Economy

With 1 billion jobs to be radically transformed by technology in the next decade, what critical interventions are needed to provide one billion people with better skills, jobs, and education by 2030?

Participants: Zanny Minton Beddoes, Moderator, Editor-in-Chief, The Economist, Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, Ministry of Education of the United Arab Emirates, Belen Garijo, Chair of the Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer, Merck, Jonas Prising, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ManpowerGroup, C. Vijayakumar, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, HCLTech.

The main topic of this session was that the business transformation would affect not only the pace of economic growth but also the political stability.  To summarize what was said before I write my comment: Business transformation will affect government finances and affect everyone’s well-being.  If we don’t have the manpower with the skills for tomorrow’s economy, then we have a huge problem.  That’s why we need to be honest about how much progress we’ve made.

Are we transforming our education system and our skills, fast enough to take advantage of new technologies?  We need to devote enough time, resources, and focus to this.  It was pointed out that seven years ago, a session was held at the World Economic Forum on how hundreds of millions of people would be affected by artificial intelligence and automation.  Today, our jobs have not disappeared, only the requirements have changed.  We even face a skills shortage.

We need to instill motivation and a necessity in order to learn from an individual point of view in society and businesses.  Technology is important, but it’s important to remember that the impact of automation and artificial intelligence is diffirent work, not less work.  In most work environments, you need people to work in groups.  That’s why collaboration is much more important now.  That’s why one of the most basic and very important social skills is how well you work with a variety of people.  Attitude is the most important thing we look for today.”

When it comes to preparing for the economy of tomorrow, I think the most important problem is education.  Unfortunately, schools lag far behind in this regard.  This means that the gap between education and real-life will gradually break off.  Therefore, it is necessary to organize the education system first and prepare it for this new future.

6) The Geopolitics of Industry

From the use of sanctions to technology procurement crises, how can business leaders adapt to a world of increasing geopolitical ruptures?

Participants: Ravi Agrawal, Moderator, Editor-in-Chief, Foreign Policy Group, Carmine Di Sibio, Global Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, EY, Mathias Miedreich, Chief Executive Officer, Umicore, Lubna S. Olayan, Chair of the Executive Committee, Olayan Financing Company, Anne Richards, Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity International,

With the war between Russia and Ukraine, commercial exits from Russia are actually a choice of morality.  Those who prefer to leave the country are those who do not use rational choices.  Much of the West has participated in US sanctions against Russia, but we know that most countries in the South globally did not.  I think what a company really is has to do with our moral values and culture.  You have to ask yourself, what is the right thing to do?  If you answer this honestly, you can protect yourself against geopolitical and political pressures.

The realization that a complete separation between the US and China would bring disaster to the global economy does not mean that the US and Chinese sides are genuinely willing to find areas of cooperation.  When the US takes unilateral action to make it impossible for China to access advanced semiconductors for example, countries and companies around the world have to comply with it in their supply chains.  Otherwise, they face sanctions.

I guess the West wants to get to a point where things made in China are sold in China.  Why do we produce electric vehicles?  Why did Europe ban combustion engines in 2025?  Because we want to reduce carbon emissions.  If electric cars run on renewable energy sources, there is no CO2.  But producing an electric vehicle would generate enormous amounts of CO2, much more than a combustion engine.  Isn’t that a contradiction?!

What is the best way for companies to maintain international government relations?  It seems like neutrality, but that is no longer possible.  Companies have to take positions on some issues due to geopolitical reasons.  Listen to the people in your organization because they know best how to express company culture in a real situation in different countries of the world.

First of all, we need a little more transparency.  Politicians need to be more transparent by meeting with the public and meeting with industrialists.  Because without this transparency, bans come.  As the bans increase, companies incur a loss.  In the case of publicly traded companies, the public also suffers.  Let’s say you left Russia as an American company and suffered a loss; Who did this really hurt?  We must also look at our customers globally.  The needs of our customers decide where we operate.

Electric vehicles are, of course, very important.  But if you really want to save the planet, you have to stop there.  It is very important to see what the real root causes underneath are!

7) China’s Next Chapter

After the 20th party congress, what are the main economic and political decisions that affect China’s global political and trade relations?

Participants: Li Xin– Moderator, Managing Director, Caixin Global, Caixin Media, Nicolas Aguzin– CEO, Hong Kong Stock Exchanges, Kevin Rudd- President and CEO, Asia Society, former Australian Prime Minister, Jane Sun– CEO, Group, Marcus Troyjo– Chairman, New Development Bank, Weng Jieming- Vice Chairman, People’s Republic of China, Public Asset Supervision and Management Commission.

In this session, it was emphasized that in the 2022 developments, the population declined for the first time in 60 years, and the GDP growth remained at 3%.  It was said that if the USA and China can keep geopolitical issues in balance, it will not have an impact on the economy.  But 2022 is 3% growth at best; a 5% forecast for 2023 is available.  This growth will be positive for the slowing world economy.

I expect consumer spending to increase a lot, with several trillion dollars additional savings during the Covid period.  The development of Chinese private sector investment amounts, which has continued at a low level in recent years, and the growth with exports will continue.  The rivalry between the US and China has existed for at least five years.  A stabilization mechanism is needed so that this does not turn into a conflict.  The first steps were taken at the summit between the two leaders in November.  China set a target of self-sufficiency in 10 critical technologies (such as quantum computing, semiconductors, and artificial intelligence) in 2015, and this target remains valid.

The highest economic growth in the last 40 years has been in China, but this has been achieved through economic expansion and strong ties to the world.  The share of developing economies in the world economy will continue to increase.  New trade agreements are no longer just about quotas but also about standards and parameters.  China should grow by continuing its open economic policy within the global economy.  Some 30 years ago, 0.6% of China’s annual GDP was spent on R&D; now, this ratio has reached the OECD average of 2.5%.

Immediately after the opening of China, there was a huge demand for travel.  Domestic travel has already reached the 2019 level.  Triple-digit growth is seen in international travel.  It is expected to reach its normal level in the third quarter.

Currently, there is nothing wrong with China.  If this is trade, the Japanese did the same.  It bought what it needed from America and sold more of it abroad.  When the demand became permanent, they went and established a factory there.  While the Americans were selling raw materials, engineering, and services, they were attracted to the Chinese market and they exported capital.  Now American companies are producing in China.  They earn Chinese money.  But America doesn’t make any money out of it.  SMEs should have said, “What can we sell?” America is not an exporting economy.  Because its domestic market is very large and satisfying, it is an importer in a market like China, but it should ask what can we sell to China like us.

8) Democracy: The Way Forward

As democracy comes under increasing pressure, what can leaders do to strengthen democratic systems?

Participants: Adam Tooze, Moderator, Director, European Institute, Columbia University, Tobias Billström – Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rodrigo Chaves Robles – President of Costa Rica, Egils Levits – President of Latvia, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown– President, Open Society Foundations, Oleksandra Matviichuk– President, Civic Liberties Ukraine, Samantha Power– President, US Agency for International Development.

Mainly, the Ukraine war and the protection of democracies from external threats were covered.  However, internal threats, namely populism and the efforts of populist leaders to erode trust in democratic institutions, were also discussed.  Here is what the participants said: Putin started the war because he was afraid of freedom. It is a struggle between freedom and authoritarianism.  In the new digital world, the issues of freedom of expression, access to information, and privacy of private life are gaining even more importance.

NATO is the largest military alliance between democratic states.  Populism, one of the internal threats, targets representative democracy; He argues that representative democracy works slowly.  It is critical that the public believes in the organs of representative democracy; belief is the most critical factor.  It is now easy to manipulate public opinion with digital technology.

The common interest of all humanity is that democracy is widespread in the world.  The legitimacy of democracy is about what it provides to people on the street who are not politicians.  But democracy is under attack from the outside and from within.  An effective weapon of the authorities is litigation to silence dissenting voices in the press and social media with a lawsuit.

Electronic voting systems are actually the most effective tool against vote stealing and corruption, as long as they are open to the control of civil society/political party representatives at every stage.  But people don’t trust this system because they think it’s a black box.

We all complain about democracy.  We complain about digitization.  However, democracy should regulate these.  We do not do this, and we do not think about how they should be used.  In a place where Industry 4.0 exists, the world must switch to Democracy 2.0!

9) Generative AI (GenAI)

As AI moves from analyzing existing data to creating new text, images, and videos, how will these advances change the augmentation versus automation debate, and what implications does this mean for industries?

Participants: Azeem Azhar, CEO – Exponential View (Moderator), Kay Firth, Head of AI – World Economic Forum; Hiroaki Kitano – CTO, Sony.

Generative AI (GenAI) is a subfield of AI that uses machine learning models to create entirely new outputs/contents (text, images, videos, etc.) based on a large dataset.  GenAI can sometimes even produce human-specific outputs.  In fact, GenAI does this by relying on statistical models without realizing the logic, meaning, or reality behind them.  In this session, the effects of productive AI in sociological, commercial, cultural, and educational fields were discussed.

First of all, it was said that authorities and states have to orient the labor market accordingly.  It was emphasized that people should learn how to use such technologies and what to expect.  It was underlined that another risk was in the field of ethics.  AI technologies have difficulty distinguishing between right and wrong, which brings with it an error based on bias .  When the work of the European Union to address these risks is finished, institutions will then have to build their AI systems according to ethical design rules.

While GenAI has great potential, it comes with some limitations.  The two most talked about systems in the field of GenAI, which is still in its infancy, are chatGPT and Stable Diffusion (text-to-image model).  Sony, as a company working in the field of entertainment, thinks that this technology offers great opportunities, especially for creative people of all kinds, and they prepare themselves accordingly.  Of course, ethically speaking, where the data comes from is very important; In this respect, it is important to ensure the accountability, fairness, and objectivity of the data.  Sony is one of the few companies to have the role of a global Ethics Leader in GenAI and believes legitimizing this issue will bring a significant competitive advantage.

Ever since ChatGPT came out, all educators have had to face GenAI in one day.  ChatGPT, which is frequently used in homework, has given very successful results in today’s education system.  Educators had a hard time assessing whether the incoming homework is fake or made by the student because today’s education system is largely based on memorization and memory, and GenAI is far more successful in this area than people.  The currently used PISA education measurement system is built on basic mathematics, science, and language skills.  The most important differences between man and machine seem to be critical and creative thinking, entrepreneurship, and ethics.  The period we live in is a great window of opportunity for policymakers to redesign education by building their education models on these important differences.

GenAI needs data and models as its working principle.  Basically, people produce these inputs, so there are some who do not see the impact on the labor market as major.  Technology will always continue to create new opportunities by producing new business lines.  For the acceptance and use of AI, people must first understand it, and education programs continue across the EU in this regard.

It is possible to say that GenAI will further transform the education sector.  It will augment the trainer’s capacity and help them gain new abilities; we still need teachers for education, and a fully automated education is not possible, but teachers will gain new competencies in this new model.  The teacher will organize and facilitate personalized training by utilizing GenAI and technology.  If we look at it from a business point of view, GenAI may create some inequalities in terms of competitive advantage.  Here, companies and platforms with the most data can have a huge competitive advantage and dominate the market.  Such technology dominance should also be considered in terms of competition regulation.

This technology seems to increase human capacity and increase our problem-solving capacity and knowledge.  We can think that GenAI will give humanity a 50% chance.  It will have an effect, but if fire can be used both in cooking and in wars, just like when our ancestors found fire, it is possible to talk about the same opportunities and risks here.   Could the main risk here be the people who use GenAI rather than the GenAI itself?

Let me answer.  On October 4, 2020, I wrote an article about artificial intelligence. There, I have already emphasized that artificial intelligence can be discriminative if the people who plan artificial intelligence are discriminative (  We need to train people who can program artificial intelligence in education.  We do the opposite, we say how artificial intelligence replaces teachers.  Then our thought system, our philosophy and our moral system will be at the mercy of an elite group.

If we say let’s raise people like this, what about other people who are already educated?  These people will work for 40 or 50 years, but what will they do if we cannot update them and they become inadequate?  We talk about the beautiful side, but what will happen to these people is forgotten.

While raising new people with the new education system, it will be a problem if not everyone has the necessary skills and capacities.  What will these people do?  We talk about everything, but we cannot talk about the realities of our own world.  Before the climate crisis, we need to think about the millions of people who are incapable and therefore unemployed and starving.  Maybe we should give up some technological developments?

In our time, it was forbidden to bring calculators to school.  We didn’t understand then, but now I understand that it will cause inequality and the consequences of inequality…

10) The Clear and Present Danger of Disinformation

How can individuals, regulators, and social media companies collaborate more effectively to combat disinformation, as disinformation (false, distorted information) spreads at unprecedented speed and scale?

Participants: Brian Stelter -Moderator, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Seth Moulton– Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts (D), District 6, United States House of Representatives, Jeanne Bourgault– President and CEO, Internews, Vera Jourova- Values and Transparency Commissioner, European Commission, AG Sulzberger– President, New York Times.

The topic of this session was polarization and its consequences.  The polarization of individuals is very negative in terms of pluralism and democracy; this is very obvious.  It was emphasized that a strong framework was created in Europe regarding the role of the state, trying to establish rules that cannot be abused.  In the USA, it was stated that freedom of expression was dominant, but in this context, serious consequences, such as the refusal of individuals to be vaccinated emerged.

It was stated that the disinformation problem might worsen due to the information that will be published on the internet by artificial intelligence without checking its accuracy, such as ChatGPT, but an artificial intelligence market that identifies disinformation may also occur.  There is statistical data that a lie sells much more than the truth.  The biggest players in the advertising industry in the EU have a commitment to combating disinformation.  Artificial intelligence is efficient in image recognition to detect illegal or harmful content.  However, it is less effective in verbal matters.  To detect hate speech, you need to understand the language well.  The protection of freedom of expression should depend on individuals and on lawyers, not on the algorithm that artificial intelligence sees.

As disinformation spreads at an unprecedented speed and scale, how can the public, regulators, and social media companies better collaborate to combat disinformation?

To minimize misinformation, seeing news from different countries helps to ensure that the information is produced correctly.  Considering some of the trends and disinformation, one of the most worrying is gender-based disinformation; such stories have proven to target women and female politicians.  We see women being harassed online and online harassment is very quickly turning into offline harassment.  Platforms should be responsible for keeping people safer.

The advertising industry has a huge impact on this, and one of the reasons we overlook misinformation is that so much of them starts out as marketing-driven.

Topics include disinformation as well as digital privacy and security, and relationships with consumers and TikTok, for example.  What role should the government play here?  There is a difference between saying citizens rather than consumers.  So regulation is needed for political advertising.  Online content may need to be removed immediately.  Access to digital services for illegal businesses should be regulated.  For example, terrorism, political and violent fanaticism, hate speech, and pornography.

In fact, we have enough data that the lie sells much better than the truth.  Over time, algorithms will simply work in the direction of better business and more profitable business.  So the situation is dire.  Europe wanted to stop this with the rules.  This needs to be included in criminal law.

The problem of disinformation and bad information will increase.  Even worse is the problem of bad information, much of which may be information created with the intent to mislead.  A large amount of unverified content is produced, the origin of which is not particularly clear.  This will make solving the problem even more difficult.  If you don’t want bad information, you have to replace it with good information.  Did it all coincide with the time when the high ideals of the journalistic ecosystem, a kind of protective system, were at their weakest?  Lies are revealed to reinforce beliefs.  Have we, as a society, made the truth attractive and convincing enough?  A lie is valuable to the liar, and the truth is valuable to the public.  Trying to make the truth as believable as possible!  We have to adopt this.  We must make the truth as accessible and attractive as the lie.

Nothing can be done without changing the understanding of democracy.  Of course, this understanding of democracy can go down to very small units.  But unless these processes are digitized, they remain cumbersome.  We have come to a point where we cannot even understand the news in the neighborhood.  It is necessary to prevent this by foreseeing the next step.  Otherwise, we will always be condemned to run after it and fall behind.

11) Saudi Arabia’s Transformation in a Changing Global Context

The dynamics of energy security, geopolitical competition, trade, and supply chain fragmentation are at the center of global debates to address the emerging short-term consequences while solving systemic problems at their core.  How is Saudi Arabia progressing in this complex global context?

Participants: Frederick Kempe, Moderator, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlantic Council, Abdullah AlSwaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Saudi Arabia, Bandar Alkhorayef, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia, Jane Fraser, Chief Executive Officer, Citi, Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia, H.R.H. Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States.

Economically, there is a consensus that Saudi Arabia is a real winner, bolstered by energy prices over the past year, as well as national investments and changes in planning and approach.  Saudi Arabia has high growth rates.  What Saudi Arabia is doing right: First, fiscal policy.  Few countries have the courage to raise the IPI (Industrial Production Index) from 6% to 15% in these difficult times.  The Saudis have done this and are using the increased revenues very effectively to create an investment climate for future growth and to diversify the economy.  Second, the Saudi target for women in the workforce by 2030 was 30%.  It has already reached 37% and exceeded the target.  Third, Saudi Arabia sees this as a good chance for globalization.

Vision 2050 was a breakthrough in Saudi Arabia’s thinking about the economy, the social fabric, and the fiscal discipline, and it has a very broad scope.  It includes economic diversification, financial reforms, and social reforms.  Inflation appeared to come sooner than many expected, and things have been successfully done to protect the Saudi economy against inflation.  Thus, energy prices in the local economy were frozen.  While global inflation was above 8% in 2022, it remained below 3% in Saudi Arabia.  Even the latest figures are 3.3%, and on average, it’s about 2.6%.  The expectation for the next year is low inflation.

Both industry and mining have great potential for Saudi Arabia.  It aims to create a competitive and sustainable industrial economy.  It is trying to create value within the country.

China is considered very important to Saudi Arabia.  China is Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner.  But at the same time, the USA is a very important partner.  It also wants to improve its relations with Europe.  The Saudis want to improve their relations with Latin America and Asia.

My question is: What will Arabia really look like when this transformation happens?

12) Is Rapid Growth Still Possible?

An unprecedented period of rising global living standards has been replaced by a period of weak growth in the 21st century.  What factors contributed to the transformative growth of the 20th century, and are they relevant to today’s policy challenges?

Participants: Gillian Tett, Editor – FT Moral Money (Moderator), Mary Callahan Erdoes, CEO, Wealth and Wealth Management – JPMorgan, Lawrence H. Summers, Professor – Harvard Kennedy School Sigrid Kaag, Deputy Prime Minister.  and Finance Minister – Netherlands, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister, Singapore.

In the latest report published by WEF, while two-thirds of respondents expected a possible recession in the economy in 2023, 18% thought it was highly probable.  So should we be optimistic or pessimistic in the long run?  Is high growth left behind?  Can we catch up with rapid growth again?  In his report published a week before the WEF’s, McKinsey argued that since 1945, the political economy had had three main phases. 1945 – 1979 post-war revival, the period of conflict up to 1989, and then the era of markets until 2019.  Are we at a new stage now?  Let’s see what the speakers said:

It is not possible to manage the current period with secular economic policy.  No longer just random shocks but systematicly part of the picture; We live in a world that revolves around shocks intensifying in frequency, scale, and impact.  The fact that the borders of our planet are exceeded and crises such as pandemics are now an accepted reality has introduced us to the world of shocks.  We live in a world full of shocks where we need to go back to our basics and invest, anticipate, and prevent.  The era of exploiting large labor and labor reserves globally is coming to an end.  It now seems possible to grow only through increased productivity.  Productive industries are replacing the existing workforce.

We need to achieve much better global security of the global system.  We need to be proactive, not reactive.  Our world right now, is still unprepared for environmental new crises such as COVID, etc.  .  Institutions are slow and inefficient in responding.  Can we establish international institutions to ensure security?  Another point is, when we look at the past and do historical reading, how ready are we for the agriculture, industrial era, and then the information technology era we live in?  Considering that the impact of AI will be very deep, it is important to manage this period with strong cooperation between policymakers and the private sector.  According to a scenario in the labor market, some lines of business will lose their jobs.  For example, AI will replace most doctors, but we will still need nurses who hold hands and have emotional contact with patients.

The role of states needs to be redefined here.  The question of with what kind of state understanding and governance we should overcome this period is critical.  The Netherlands is redefining the role of government, from the role of a major public service provider to the role of an accelerator actor.  Long-term planning is essential for growth.  What role and job will you give citizens in the future?  Investments in new technologies will open up many new line of business and roles.  States should make their education systems and career planning accordingly.

If you ask me, the biggest risk to growth is political fights, wars and especially the US-China conflict.  The impact of US-China tensions and economic restrictions can be global and devastating.

13) Artificial Intelligence and White-Collar Jobs

Recent advances in machine learning mean increasingly complex cognitive tasks and creative production can be automated.  Are the implications of these developments exaggerated, or are we approaching a turning point for knowledge workers?

Participants: Ina Fried, Chief Correspondent – Axios (Moderator), Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor, Digital Economics Lab – Stanford University, Mihir Shukla, CEO – Automation Anywhere, Sir Martin Sorrell, Chairman of the Board – S4 Capital, Lauren Woodman, CEO – Datakind

AI and its results were also the main topics of this session.  Waves of automation in the past targeted entry-level jobs. But Generative AI systems such as ChatGPT etc., instill fear in knowledge workers, including senior executives.  AI has been called a disruptive technology because many jobs will likely change drastically because the employees’ workflows will be formed with the help of a set of AI-driven software robots.

In this regard, the speakers said: Humanity and the workforce will somehow keep up with this new advancement. States and institutions will prepare for this with training programs.  But it is difficult to predict how this transition process will be managed and what we will experience.  While much emphasis has been placed at the World Economic Forum on how productive AI tools can reshape creative work, greater disruptive effects are also expected in lucrative but labor-intensive jobs.  For example, ad buying and planning tasks are among the issues that will be solved mostly with AI.

While the mortgage loan approval process, which normally involves lengthy bureaucratic processes, takes 30 days, it can now be completed in a much shorter time with robotic process automation and AI, and it already automatically performs a number of tasks, such as processing mortgage applications.  Technology is also entering other unexpected areas…

It is observed that AI takes over certain tasks instead of replacing all jobs.  They examined 950 professions and came up with the necessary tasks to perform these professions.  AI can perform many functions, but not all.  Machine learning is not capable of fulfilling even one of the professions.  More importantly, as a result of this study, artificial intelligence can help people get more qualified and satisfying jobs.

Too many employees are not in the right job and live their lives in quiet desperation.  Probably these people have some skills to do different jobs much better, but they are not suitable for it because there is no HR infrastructure to put them in.  There are those who say that one benefit of AI will be to enable people to realize their potential.

Artificial intelligence will actually help people, work like a consultant.  You will do some things, and it will check them, but you will still make the final touches.  I say it will be nothing more than something that will increase human capacity.

And these are my 2023 World Economic Forum notes and comments.  The world is going through a great transformation in every aspect, and so is business life… This great transformation leaves its mark on almost every economy or business meeting. But as we talk about these, the transformation is accelerating.  I think it is necessary to stop talking and “do” to catch up.  Wouldn’t we have started a good discussion if you wrote the first three actions that we should do in the comments?  Thanks.

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