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BT Podcast: Alibaba founder Jack Ma says AI, big data pose threat to human beings     January 25, 2018

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Alibaba founder Jack Ma says AI, big data pose threat to human beings

Jack Ma , founder and Executive Chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, took centre stage in one of the sessions at Davos and talked about the impact of technology, artificial intelligence, role of women business leaders in today's world and globalization. Ma warned that latest technologies like AI and big data are a threat and would disable people instead of empowering them. On the impact of technology, Ma said: "We are very lucky because the world is in big transformation mode because of technology. Though this revolution will create successful leaders and opportunities, every new technology will also create social problems. Ma said there was a need to work together or "human beings are going to fight each other as each technology revolution has made the world unbalanced."

Trump aims to be the 'best salesperson' for America

Trump is due to arrive in Davos on Friday for a much-anticipated speech to attendees at the forum. Around 2,000 protesters demonstrated in Zurich and hundreds marched in public squares to protest President Donald Trump's scheduled visit to the World Economic Forum. Demonstrators carrying anti-globalist and environmentalist placards such as, "No Trump, no coal, no gas, no fossil fuels" marched near Zurich's financial district. US President Donald Trump is aiming to be the "best salesperson" for American economic interests when he arrives in Davos, the White House has said.

I have learnt lessons from the fractured world: Chetna Sinha

An all-women panel of co-chairs at World Economic Forum (WEF) 2018 in Davos held a session with the theme 'Creating a shared future in a fractured world'. Each one spoke about the fractures in their respective fields of work and life and the possible solutions. Moderated by the Managing Director of IMF, Christine Lagarde, the panel consisted of names like Indian social activist Chetna Sinha who has empowered women by providing them entrepreneurial skills and access to doorstep finance. Referring to the Mann Deshi Mahila Sahkari Bank which she launched Sinha said, ""There are the lessons I have learnt from the fractured world. This bank is established with no external support and these women rock with doorstep banking. While working with the fractured world I saw the solution."

Isolating ourselves will not lead us into a good future: Angela Merkel

German leader Angela Merkel also spoke at the WEF stressing that multilateralism was under threat and that protectionism was not the answer to the world's problems. "Frankly speaking, the country I have the honor to represent and where I am chancellor has difficulties. And polarization is something that we see in our country as well, which we haven't had for decades," Merkel said. She blamed the euro zone crisis and migration crisis seen in Europe over the last few years for increasing populism and and polarization. She also said that Germany would not shrink from the world stage.

Show more compassion to refugees: Cate Blanchett

During a session titled "An Insight, An Idea With Cate Blanchett." actress and campaigner Blanchett asked the world to adopt a more compassionate view towards refugees.Blanchett was honored at the Crystal Awards in Davos for her leadership in raising awareness about the refugee crisis. She highlighted the fact that there was misinformation about refugees in the world and added that there was "far more opportunity" when countries diversified their workforce. Blanchett told the audience that it was important to listen and have open-minded conversations.

AI would save us, not destroy us: Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

"AI is probably the most important thing humanity has ever worked on. I think of it as something more profound than electricity or fire," said the CEO of Google Sundar Pichai at Davos. "Any time you work with technology, you need to learn to harness the benefits while minimising the downsides." Pichai, who grew up in India, spoke of the transformative power of technology. He said that the risks were "important", and called for international cooperation on the scale of the Paris climate agreement to manage them.

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