Davos 2024: Transforming AI buzz to concrete achievements


  • The 2024 Davos conference saw a shift in the conversation around AI, moving from wonder to pragmatism and focusing on the risks and challenges associated with the technology.
  • Concerns discussed at Davos included turbocharged misinformation, job displacement, and economic inequality.
  • Deepfake technology, which can create and spread false information, was a major topic of discussion at Davos.
  • AI experts have differing views on the timeline for achieving Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), with some believing it could be achieved soon and others expressing skepticism.
  • The public is split on their acceptance of AI, with many recognizing its potential while also being mindful of the risks.

At the 2024 Davos conference, AI took center stage with more than two dozen sessions focused on the topic. However, the conversation this year shifted from wonder to pragmatism, with discussions centered on the risks and challenges associated with AI.

One of the main concerns discussed at Davos was the threat of turbocharged misinformation and disinformation spread through deepfake technology. Deepfakes, which can create realistic but false photos, videos, and voice clones, have raised concerns about the potential for further muddying reality and undermining trust. Examples of deepfake misuse, such as robocalls impersonating political figures, were cited as evidence of the dangers of this technology.

There was also discussion about the timeline for achieving Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), with some experts suggesting it could be achieved soon, while others expressed skepticism. AGI is seen as the point at which AI becomes smarter and more capable than a college-educated human across a range of activities. The uncertainty surrounding AGI and its potential impact on society has generated both excitement and concern.

The public’s perception of AI was also a topic of discussion at Davos. The Edelman Trust Barometer, launched at the conference, revealed that global respondents are split on accepting or rejecting AI. While people recognize the potential of AI, they are also aware of the risks it presents. The report suggests that people are more likely to embrace AI if it is vetted by scientists and ethicists, if they feel they have control over its impact on their lives, and if they believe it will bring a better future.

In navigating the landscape of AI, stakeholders are at a crossroads where prudent stewardship and innovative spirit can shape a future where AI technology amplifies human potential without sacrificing integrity and values. While the benefits and potential harm of AI may be imminent, widespread success is not guaranteed. The challenge lies in harnessing the power of AI for personal and business benefit, while also understanding and mitigating its risks.