5 WEF must reads for the weekend

We keep our ear to the ground for the interesting stats, insights and discussion points you need to feel in the know.

1. AI, unsurprisingly, steals the show

snow falls over the town of Davos

After a disruptive 2023, the world could do with some trust building. So, it feels apt that the World Economic Forum has chosen Rebuilding Trust as its theme this year. And interestingly, AI, a hot-button topic, has stolen the show at the forum for the first time, along with recurrent vital themes like security, jobs, and climate. According to Julie Teigland, EY EMEIA Area Managing Partner at EY, trust is an ideal guiding star for business leaders navigating AI in 2024. As a vital first step, Julie advises getting to grips with your legal, governance and compliance responsibilities. “It is imperative that businesses understand their responsibilities under the laws and regulations of the jurisdictions wherever they do business,” says Julie. This will make sure companies are meeting the expectations of investors, regulators, and other stakeholders. Next, businesses need to establish robust AI governance processes at all levels of the business…

Navigating the AI revolution in 2024: Building trust through innovation and responsibility

2. The biggest threat to AI adoption?

Man on tablet in the server room

Confidence – according to Carmine Di Sibio, EY Global Chairman and CEO. In fact, almost 70% of CEOs revealed in a recent EY survey, that uncertainty around generative AI is making it challenging to develop and execute a strategy quickly. But these concerns are not without merit… can we really trust AI completely? Take AI chatbots as an example; they produce erroneous outputs or “hallucinate” 3% of the time, with incidents peaking at 27%. Companies also have reservations about data privacy, misinformation and intellectual property. There are risks for all sectors – but risks are particularly untenable for sectors like healthcare. So how can leaders confidently adopt AI? “An important first step is implementing people-led governance mechanisms,” says Carmine. This means using humans to “fine-tune” models and interpret outputs. In other words, we must put people at the center. Carmine tells us more in this WEF Agenda blog, alongside insights from four other leaders…

Davos 2024: 5 business leaders on adopting AI and managing associated risks

3. Growth can’t happen in a vacuum

Man and woman walking side by side across a bridge, female is holding a tablet

Policymakers and leaders at WEF are all facing the same challenge – how can we deliver high growth in a volatile, low growth economy? Not since World War II has the macroenvironment been a bigger factor in shaping business performance. From climate change to global conflicts and disrupted supply chains, businesses are navigating multiple challenges simultaneously. But growth can’t happen in a vacuum. We need a dynamic economy that’s vibrant, growing and attractive to international investors, underpinned by a society with world-class skills and capabilities – including in technology – and where there’s opportunity for all. Hywel Ball, EY UK Chair, believes there are positive signs in the UK…

How to deliver high growth in a low-growth economy

4. People should always be at the center

woman stood by a long table, looking out to the city view

There’s no escaping it. GenAI has transformative potential. In fact, the GenAI market is expected to see continued growth in the coming years, by one estimate reaching over $1 trillion in revenue by 2032 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42%. And it’s shaking up the business world. “As companies continue to invest in GenAI, business leaders have a significant opportunity not only to drive efficiency and reduce costs but also to reimagine the very nature of work — augmenting human intelligence instead of replacing it” writes Julie Boland, EY US Chair and Managing Partner and Americas Managing Partner. But it seems not everyone feels so confident about it. Many employees across industries remain anxious about using AI at work, expressing genuine concerns around things such as ethical usage, job security and the legal risk, amongst others, according to EY research.So how can businesses mitigate these fears? “Organizations need to implement GenAI and other new technologies with people at the center” says Julie. It’s clear – for leaders aiming to harness the power of AI responsibly, adopting a human-centric approach is vital. This includes robust opportunities for learning and upskilling, transparent communication, and clear usage guidelines for effective GenAI deployment. But that’s not all. Julie shares more in her latest article.

How the human-centric GenAI journey drives trust

5. It might surprise you…

Ariel view of two people sat at a desk

…that workforce productivity has not measurably improved in decades, despite all the advances in technology. With one exception – the COVID years – which may be attributed, in part, to employees working from home and working longer hours. But could emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence catalyze change? As EY Partner EMEIA, Andy Lomas, notes, “over the last 20 years or so, disruptive technologies have revolutionized industries, organizations and workforces. With more than 75% of companies likely to adopt big data, cloud computing and AI in the next five years, it is safe to say the disruption, and opportunities these technologies create, are set to continue” In fact, 84% of employers say they expect to implement GenAI within the next 12 months, according to the EY 2023 Work Reimagined Survey. While GenAI’s full potential remains uncertain, its significant impact on labor markets, careers, and daily work is undeniable. A recent MIT surveysuggests that under optimal conditions, it could bolster worker performance by up to 40%. Andy tells us more…

Will generative AI fuel workforce productivity?