Columbia´s Xavier Sala-I-Martin Speaks at Major Business Gathering

November 08, 2018

Chile’s BCI Bank invited Columbia University´s Xavier Sala-i-Martin - an  Economics professor and Chief Economic Advisor to the WEF (World Economic Forum), as a keynote speaker for its IX Annual Conference entitled “Competing With AI: New Business Models”.

Sala-i-Martin, who created the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) in 2004, was joined by another keynote speaker, Minister Gonzalo Blumel, Secretary-General to Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, to analyze how current trends in the digital age impact competitiveness.

Sala-i-Martin stressed the vital importance of education for future generations given the tremendous changes sweeping societies worldwide: “We must teach children to be flexible in today´s world by showing them how to do things that machines can´t. How to be creative, how to apply philosophy, how to develop mental fortitude. What´s the use of teaching them Accounting if that process will eventually be carried out by a machine?”.

He also discussed the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the need to adapt to this new reality which will inevitably impact employment and the economy on a global scale: “For the first time ever, the technological revolution will affect educated people, the middle class, and this phenomenon will give rise to populism driven by people who feel disenfranchised because it is highly unlikely they will find a job on par with the one they lost”.