Davos reveals: Generative AI shapes our future work.


  • Generative AI, also known as gen AI, was a hot topic at the 2024 World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos.
  • A staggering 55% of people globally are already using gen AI for their work, with chat-based AI surpassing mass adoption within ten months.
  • CEOs see broad benefits of gen AI, but employees are concerned about job security.

Davos, Tuesday 21st January 2024 – The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos has become renowned for sparking discussions on the future of work and this year was no exception. However, the topic that truly dominated the conversation was generative AI (gen AI).

The rapid rise of gen AI

The Oliver Wyman Forum’s recent report, “How Generative AI is Transforming Business and Society,” reveals that 55% of people globally are already using gen AI for their work. This adoption rate is staggering, considering chatGPT, a chat-based AI model, reached mass adoption within just ten months. In comparison, the internet took 17 years to reach the same level, smartphones took 21 years, and electricity took 37 years.

Concerns about productivity and job security

While the adoption of gen AI has been rapid, it does not inherently translate to increased productivity. Only 61% of survey respondents reported increased productivity when using gen AI. Furthermore, there is a notable gap between the enthusiasm of CEOs, who see broad benefits of gen AI, and employees, who worry that it will lead to job losses.

A humanistic approach to automation

If gen AI is to be harnessed in a sustainable and inclusive manner, a humanistic view of automation is essential. The World Economic Forum’s Good Work Framework is a useful starting point for redefining the human-machine compact. It emphasizes the importance of managing human-machine synergy to optimize productivity gains.

The integration of human and machine intelligence

During the WEF meeting, discussion focused on the integration of human and machine intelligence and the potential productivity gains this could bring. The democratization of access to AI has allowed people at all levels of an organization to contribute their ideas and use cases for gen AI. This has led to transformative breakthroughs and a closer partnership between humans and machines.

Reskilling and upskilling for the gen AI age

The rapid advance of gen AI is not only transforming the way we work but also necessitating a shift from job-centric to skill-centric models within organizations. Companies need to invest in reskilling and upskilling their workforce to ensure they have the skills needed to work alongside gen AI. However, there is currently a disconnect between employee expectations and company training opportunities.

Rethinking work for the gen AI age

The age of gen AI is already upon us, and organizations need to proactively redesign work to incorporate gen AI. It is important to create space for learning and well-being within the flow of work, rather than placing the burden solely on employees to adapt to the changes brought by gen AI. This will ensure a future-ready workforce that can thrive in the evolving world of work.