.
D

ay four of the 2021 Davos Agenda, under the theme of “focusing on how we can harness the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for good,” saw several panels throughout the day discuss the future of technology, in addition to several special addresses by world leaders addressing their plans for COVID-19 vaccinations.

In a special address by H.M. Abdullah II ivn Al Hussein, King of Jordan, in regards to the COVID-19 vaccine, he insists that “it is a moral duty to treat the vaccine as a global public good that ensures that low-income and poor countries are not left at the end of the waiting line as high-income countries buy the majority of the most promising vaccines,” advocating for vaccination equality. He explains how Jordan is doing their part by vaccinating refugees for free, as “amidst these challenging times, safeguarding the health and well-being of refugees remains a global responsibility.” He also mentions how Jordan had sent aid to other countries in need at the beginning of the pandemic in an effort to do their part as well, as ultimately “this is the year where we all have to step up and say not only what we can do to help ourselves, but what we can do to help others.”

In Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi’s address to the Davos Agenda, he mentions how while much of the world was naturally concerned for India at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the size of the population in the developing country, “India moved forward with an approach of proactive public participation, [focusing] on developing COVID specific health infrastructure, [training] human resources to fight against Corona, and [making] full use of technology for testing and tracking.” He states how India is aiming towards vaccinating one-quarter of its population by July, and how already “in just 12 days, India has vaccinated more than 2.3 million of its health workers,” with a target of vaccinating 300 million senior citizens and patients with co-morbidities in the next few months.

Lastly, in a special address by President of Argentina Alberto Fernández, he states that “the pandemic we’re going through is not a mere accident,” and how “it is a wake up call to build a common home with new foundations. Either we wake up better or we succumb all the worse for wear.” He highlights the need to focus on helping those in need, as he is “certain that the moral imperative of the hour is to prioritize the most disadvantaged—the ones left behind, the ignored, the most vulnerable.” He therefore insists “the vaccine must be considered a global public good,” and that global cooperation will be essential moving forward, as “’fraternity’ must be the new name of development and ‘solidarity’ the new name of social peace.”

In addition to the focus by political leaders on the COVID-19 pandemic and their plans for recovery, day 4 of the 2021 DAVOS Agenda also saw a major shift in focus onto the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the potential for its technologies to reshape the world.

Two of the panels on the Fourth Industrial Revolution specifically highlighted the benefits and risks of 4IR technologies—especially artificial intelligence. As Mohit Joshi, President of Infosys, explains, AI is going to impact business in a plethora of ways—from seeing companies go almost completely digital, to AI integrating with cloud, IoT and robotic technologies, to issues with privacy and data security, to AI’s ability to completely change workforce dynamics. More important than AI and other 4IR technologies’ impact on business, however, Deputy Chairman of Huawei Technologies Ken Hu says, “we need to think about the impact of the fourth industrial technology on people. The right strategy is to make sure that all stakeholders—government, industry and people—work together to think about how to help everyone get ready for the future.” Ultimately, we are only at the beginning of seeing the potential for AI, according to Julia Sweet, Chief Executive Officer at Accenture, as it is important to “not think about [AI] as a destination, but as an enabler that is only beginning to reach its full potential.”

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, echoes this sentiment about artificial intelligence not having yet reached its full potential. In a discussion about the future of technology, he notes how while artificial intelligence did not play a large role in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic, its real potential may come to fruition within the next 10-20 years, “assuming as humanity we take this moment to learn from [the pandemic] and apply our creativity and resources. I think we will definitely tackle it better the next time around.”

About
Winona Roylance
:
Winona Roylance is Diplomatic Courier's Managing Editor and Special Series Editor.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.

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www.diplomaticourier.com

Davos Agenda Day Four: Harnessing the Technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

January 28, 2021

D

ay four of the 2021 Davos Agenda, under the theme of “focusing on how we can harness the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for good,” saw several panels throughout the day discuss the future of technology, in addition to several special addresses by world leaders addressing their plans for COVID-19 vaccinations.

In a special address by H.M. Abdullah II ivn Al Hussein, King of Jordan, in regards to the COVID-19 vaccine, he insists that “it is a moral duty to treat the vaccine as a global public good that ensures that low-income and poor countries are not left at the end of the waiting line as high-income countries buy the majority of the most promising vaccines,” advocating for vaccination equality. He explains how Jordan is doing their part by vaccinating refugees for free, as “amidst these challenging times, safeguarding the health and well-being of refugees remains a global responsibility.” He also mentions how Jordan had sent aid to other countries in need at the beginning of the pandemic in an effort to do their part as well, as ultimately “this is the year where we all have to step up and say not only what we can do to help ourselves, but what we can do to help others.”

In Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi’s address to the Davos Agenda, he mentions how while much of the world was naturally concerned for India at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the size of the population in the developing country, “India moved forward with an approach of proactive public participation, [focusing] on developing COVID specific health infrastructure, [training] human resources to fight against Corona, and [making] full use of technology for testing and tracking.” He states how India is aiming towards vaccinating one-quarter of its population by July, and how already “in just 12 days, India has vaccinated more than 2.3 million of its health workers,” with a target of vaccinating 300 million senior citizens and patients with co-morbidities in the next few months.

Lastly, in a special address by President of Argentina Alberto Fernández, he states that “the pandemic we’re going through is not a mere accident,” and how “it is a wake up call to build a common home with new foundations. Either we wake up better or we succumb all the worse for wear.” He highlights the need to focus on helping those in need, as he is “certain that the moral imperative of the hour is to prioritize the most disadvantaged—the ones left behind, the ignored, the most vulnerable.” He therefore insists “the vaccine must be considered a global public good,” and that global cooperation will be essential moving forward, as “’fraternity’ must be the new name of development and ‘solidarity’ the new name of social peace.”

In addition to the focus by political leaders on the COVID-19 pandemic and their plans for recovery, day 4 of the 2021 DAVOS Agenda also saw a major shift in focus onto the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the potential for its technologies to reshape the world.

Two of the panels on the Fourth Industrial Revolution specifically highlighted the benefits and risks of 4IR technologies—especially artificial intelligence. As Mohit Joshi, President of Infosys, explains, AI is going to impact business in a plethora of ways—from seeing companies go almost completely digital, to AI integrating with cloud, IoT and robotic technologies, to issues with privacy and data security, to AI’s ability to completely change workforce dynamics. More important than AI and other 4IR technologies’ impact on business, however, Deputy Chairman of Huawei Technologies Ken Hu says, “we need to think about the impact of the fourth industrial technology on people. The right strategy is to make sure that all stakeholders—government, industry and people—work together to think about how to help everyone get ready for the future.” Ultimately, we are only at the beginning of seeing the potential for AI, according to Julia Sweet, Chief Executive Officer at Accenture, as it is important to “not think about [AI] as a destination, but as an enabler that is only beginning to reach its full potential.”

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, echoes this sentiment about artificial intelligence not having yet reached its full potential. In a discussion about the future of technology, he notes how while artificial intelligence did not play a large role in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic, its real potential may come to fruition within the next 10-20 years, “assuming as humanity we take this moment to learn from [the pandemic] and apply our creativity and resources. I think we will definitely tackle it better the next time around.”

About
Winona Roylance
:
Winona Roylance is Diplomatic Courier's Managing Editor and Special Series Editor.
The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of any other organization.