By Aaron Pressman and Adam Lashinsky
January 25, 2018

Good morning from Davos, Switzerland, where the weather has improved considerably and a veritable hit parade of world leaders has taken the stage to promote their agendas.

I promised yesterday to be brief today, and I’d like to share some high-level thoughts from two private working sessions I moderated Wednesday for the World Economic Forum.

The first was a conversation on priorities for global development and technology attended by World Bank President Jim Kim, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and a bevy of other government ministers and corporate leaders. At the highest level, the powerful group is focused on Internet connectivity, skills attainment and education, promoting entrepreneurship, and public-private collaboration to connect every sentient human to the Internet. That might sound like a bunch of hot air, but the group had some credible ideas that the forum plans to help keep top of mind.

The second was a fascinating and frightening look at the impact of quantum computing that featured incoming HPE chief executive Antonio Neri and some sharp academics. One thought that surfaced was the scary notion that quantum computers will be so powerful that they’ll empower device-born weaponization we can barely fathom today. For a peek at how this might look, watch this sobering video of “autonomous lethal micro-drones,” as well as this account of the vibrant debate it has provoked.

French President Emmanuel Macron committed a faux pas late in the day: He gave a seemingly endless speech that overlapped with cocktail hour. Indeed, while Macron was speaking Facebook was throwing an off-the-record party for journalists at its expensive digs on Davos’s equivalent of Main Street. I’m told Sheryl Sandberg made apologetic comments and pledged Facebook would fix its problems even if it hurts its own balance sheet, something Mark Zuckerberg already has pledged. It’s telling that the company most closely associated with publishing fake news and that doesn’t want to be thought of as a media company hosted an event for journalists but wouldn’t let them write about it. (I stopped by briefly, but after Sandberg spoke.)

More on Friday, when Donald Trump is expected to speak at 2:00 p.m. local time.

Adam Lashinsky


You May Like