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Pranjal Sharma

Pranjal Sharma has been analysing, commenting and writing on economic and development policy in India for 25 years. He has worked in print, TV and digital media in leadership positions and guided teams to interpret economic change and India’s engagement with the world

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Metaverse And AI To Catalyse Change, Say Davos Leaders

World Economic Forum has taken the lead on bringing all stakeholders together on using the metaverse for business innovation and economic growth

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Conversations on Covid are muted this year at Davos. The priority themes of discussion are global growth and impact of technology. 

The intertwining of growth driven by new technologies has grabbed the attention of global leaders. 

World Economic Forum has taken the lead on bringing all stakeholders together on using the metaverse for business innovation and economic growth. 

In partnership with Accenture and Microsoft, unveiled at its Annual Meeting 2023 a working prototype of its Global Collaboration Village, a purpose-driven metaverse where organizations can convene to learn about, create solutions for, and take action on the world’s most pressing challenges.

Supported by a unique range of partners from the public and private sectors, the Village will use the frontier capabilities of the metaverse to find solutions for addressing the big issues of our time in a more open, inclusive and sustained way,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

Virtual collaboration spaces for immersive storytelling and the Forum’s thought leadership, intended to inspire collaboration, experiential learning and real-world impact on global issues. For example, in a virtual ocean hub, participants can dive into the ocean’s depths and explore why and how marine ecosystems must be protected to preserve both life on land and in water.

AI is also making waves at Davos. Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare In, a company that defends websites against cyberattacks and offers other cloud services, sees generative AI as good enough to be a junior programmer or a "really good thought partner."

In an interview to Reuters, Prince said Cloudflare was using such technology to write code on its Workers platform. Cloudflare is also exploring how such tech can answer inquiries faster for its free-tier customers as well, he said on the annual meeting's sidelines.

Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir Technologies Inc (PLTR.N), a software provider helping governments visualise an army's movements or enterprises vet their supply chains, among other tasks, said such AI could have military applications.

Karp told Reuters in Davos, "The idea that an autonomous thing could generate results is basically obviously useful for war."

An article on WEF website also focusses on the importance off new types of AI. Generative AI stretches beyond typical natural language processing tasks such as language translation, text summarization and text generation. “While generative AI is a game-changer on numerous areas and tasks, there is a strong need to govern the diffusion of these models, and their impact on society and the economy more carefully,” says WEF. “Only when solid checks and balances are in place can more thoughtful and beneficial expansion of generative AI technologies and products be achieved.