AI Takes Center Stage: The Absence of Crypto at the World Government Summit 2024

The World Government Summit 2024 (WGS) has once again demonstrated its role as a beacon of global collaboration and forward-thinking initiatives. Discussions at this remarkable event transcended borders and disciplines, all aimed at shaping a better future for humanity. With decision-makers and market leaders from across the globe converging, the WGS served as an invaluable platform to explore innovative solutions to pressing global challenges.

This year’s summit delved into six main themes crucial for charting the course towards a more sustainable and prosperous world: government acceleration and transformation, artificial intelligence and the next frontiers, reimagining development and future economies, future societies and education, sustainability and the new global shifts, and urbanization and global health priorities.

The dominant theme of the summit revolved around artificial intelligence (AI). This became evident from the moment the Nvidia CEO took the stage on the first day, emphasizing the importance of computer science education and programming. His address underscored the pivotal role of AI in shaping the future of governments and societies. H.E. Omar Sultan AlOlama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, also offered insights about the UAE’s vision in this space and announced the UAE’s advancement in this industry as an open-source initiative to empower other countries and nations.

Throughout the summit, speakers like Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the transformative potential of AI across various domains and the importance of having a global regulatory authority akin to the one regulating nuclear developments.

One of the most striking observations made during the summit was the pervasive analogy of AI being likened to essential utilities like water and electricity. While this analogy was not explicitly stated by any speaker, it emerged from discussions surrounding AI’s ubiquitous presence and its fundamental role in driving innovation and progress.

The UAE also unveiled a $500 million program to accelerate research and development into artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies during the summit. The announcement was made by the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) on the sidelines of the World Governments Summit in Dubai.

Additionally, there was notable discussion surrounding the emerging super league play between the US and China in the realm of AI. China’s advancements in this space are widely recognized and pose a potential threat to US dominance. Conversely, the US is becoming increasingly guarded about sharing its AI technology and knowledge with China and Chinese companies, evident in decisions such as localizing the micro-chips industry to reduce dependence on Chinese supply chains. This dynamic represents a soft war of knowledge, resources, and data, which will likely be a prominent theme in the future.

Despite the prominence of AI discussions, there was a noticeable absence of discourse around cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. While cryptocurrency and blockchain undoubtedly hold immense potential for reshaping financial systems and governance structures, they may not have been deemed as urgent within the context of the summit’s themes. Alternatively, it’s possible that these topics are considered still evolving and haven’t reached a stage where they are widely recognized as integral to global governance discussions, which should be very alarming for the blockchain and crypto community. Another possibility is that organizers avoided repeating discussions held at the Satoshi Roundtable, hosted in Dubai just days before the summit. However, it is believed that the latter explanation is more likely.

Regardless of the reasons behind the absence of cryptocurrency and blockchain discussions at WGS 2024, it serves as a reminder of the dynamic nature of global summits. The agenda reflects the prevailing issues and priorities at a given moment in time, with certain topics naturally taking precedence over others. Looking ahead, it’s imperative for forums like the World Government Summit to continue evolving and adapting to address emerging challenges and opportunities. The experience of WGS 2024 was both enlightening and inspiring, showcasing the importance of collaboration and innovation in navigating the complexities of our increasingly interconnected world.

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