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Futurists at World Government Summit 2018 Identify Knowledge, Information and Care as Drivers of Future Economies

19 February 2018


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Dubai-UAE: 13 February 2018 - "The world is being dematerialized and as we have fewer resources at our disposal, we will need more knowledge economies driven by information and ideas. The UAE intuitively gets that," said Ramez Naam, author and futurist at the Singularity University, a Silicon Valley think tank focusing on scientific progress and exponential technologies, on the closing day of the World Government Summit 2018.

As technologies get cheaper and ubiquitous, Naam engaged his audience in his session entitled ‘State of Abundance: Innovating for the Future’ with historical evidence and anecdotes to make a case that we are currently “in an era of super empowered individuals, the organizations and nations that thrive will be the ones that know how to leverage the capabilities of those individuals.”

 

“Experts unfortunately have a status quo bias and their minds are not optimized to think of exponential growth. People have always chosen the cheapest fuels, and in the future, that will be solar. Today, solar power is as cheap as coal in India. Over the last 40 years, the price of solar power has dropped from US$77/kwh to US$0.30/kwh. The cheapest, unsubsidized contract for electricity ever signed on the planet was in Abu Dhabi, where solar is 2.42 cents/kwh,” highlighted Naam.

 

Predicting that future cities of the world will depend on great leadership and be more open and more spread out due to the progress in personalizing utilities and everyday routines, Ian Pearson, futurist – Futurizon and Omar Yaghi, Founding Director – Berkeley Global Science Institute, said the advent of AI would recalibrate the jobs economy. “We’re going to be a ‘careconomy’ as professional jobs will go to AI, physical jobs will go to robots and humans will be able to be humans: we are looking at more jobs in crafts, entertainment, teaching, policing, medicine, sports and other pursuits that are not work but things we enjoy,” said Pearson.

 

“The challenges of future cities in the short term is more of the same but, by 2050, we are looking at buildings that are 30 kilometers tall and could function as space ports. Artificial intelligence will be used in construction and maintenance,” said Yaghi.

“AI is stimulative technology and will upskill people. The disruption is over. It has disrupted industries but it’s also creating new opportunities. However, we need to have regulation to protect against rogue AI as it does present security risks,” Pearson concluded.

 

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the World Government Summit 2018 concludes today at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. The landmark event convened more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries, including heads of state and governments, as well as top-tier representatives of 16 international organizations.

 

Hosting more than 130 speakers across 120 interactive sessions, WGS 2018 featured six distinct forums that examined the challenges of vital sectors for the future with a view to finding the best resolutions for the greater global good. Furthermore, over 20 specialized global reports spanning key sectors and topics of the summit were launched throughout the duration of the event.