Jan 19, 2024 - Axios Events

Axios House at the 2024 World Economic Forum: AI and Predictive Technologies

Flagship Pioneering Founder & CEO Noubar Afeyan at Axios House Davos.

Flagship Pioneering Founder & CEO Noubar Afeyan at Axios House Davos. Photo credit: Dani Ammann Photography on behalf of Axios

AI has the potential to drastically change how industries forecast future outcomes. Technology and industry leaders discussed the impact AI-powered predictive technologies could have on society and the economy at Axios House in Davos, Switzerland for the 2024 World Economic Forum.

Flagship Pioneering founder & CEO Noubar Afeyan says he has "no interest in adding years, vain years to rich people's lives."

  • Instead, he says there should be more of a focus on people's healthspan and "trying to understand a disease before it's a disease."
  • Yes, but: There are no incentives within the healthcare system, plus with the added on regulatory burdens, it prevents technology from being fully implemented for predictive measures, Afeyan told Axios' Ryan Heath.

Separately, Afeyan says he doesn't support limitations on collaborating with scientists in China.

  • Why it matters: More partnerships and corporations are coming under scrutiny for working with partners in China as worry continues to grow when it comes to national and economic security.
  • Afeyan says "science is supposed to be free" but also cautions collaboration that could break laws or increase security concerns.

One Davos takeaway: This year's theme at WEF is rebuilding trust, which Afeyan calls an "interesting juxtaposition."

  • He says trust is becoming a metaphysical issue and that in this current climate of uncertainty, some may be mistaking uncertainty for risk "and we're mistaking trust for what it really means."

In a separate interview, KPMG deputy chair and chief operating officer Laura Newinski says "data integrity" is a key concern for clients when it comes to implementing AI.

Sponsored content:

In a View From the Top sponsored conversation, WorldQuant founder, chairman and CEO Igor Tulchinsky says the sectors that will be the most impacted by AI first are business and finance, then healthcare.

  • "The sectors where [there's the] most money but least regulation are the ones that are going to change the fastest."

Thank you to WorldQuant for sponsoring this event.

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