Gautam Adani penned musing from his visit to Davos to attend the World Economic Forum. (file)
Asia’s richest man Gautam Adani, besides looking at opportunities to expand his vast empire, is hooked on ChatGPT – the programme that trawls vast amounts of information to generate natural-sounding text on virtually anything – from crafting jokes to writing ad copy, debugging computer code, to even generating poems and essays.
Mr Adani, whose conglomerate has in recent years diversified from mines, ports and power plants into airports, data centres and defence, penned musing from his visit to Davos to attend the World Economic Forum meeting.
“From a meetings perspective, this was perhaps my busiest WEF as I met over a dozen heads of states and several business leaders,” he wrote on LinkedIn, talking of new geopolitical couplings, climate change and tight-lipped evangelists and AI.
Advancements in AI, or generative AI, was the buzzword at all the discussions at the WEF.
“The recent release of ChatGPT (I must admit to some addiction since I started using it) is a transformational moment in the democratization of AI given its astounding capabilities as well as comical failures,” he said.
Stating that generative AI will have massive ramifications, he said pioneering of chip design and large-scale production put the US ahead of the rest of the world and pave way for precision and guided weapons used in modern warfare.
“Generative AI holds the same potential and dangers, and the race is already on, with China outnumbering the US in the number of most-cited scientific papers on AI,” he said.
In fact, Chinese researchers in 2021 published twice as many academic papers on AI as their American counterparts.
“This is a race that will quickly get as complex and as entangled as the ongoing silicon chip war,” he added.
ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot prototype, which is developed by OpenAI. Users can ask questions and the bot will respond with relevant, natural-sounding answers and topics.
Responses from ChatGPT sound quite human-like and it is designed to mimic real conversations. The bot is capable of explaining, remembering what was said earlier in the conversations, elaborating on ideas when asked, and even apologizing when it gets things wrong.
Talking of the new geopolitical couplings and its implications, Mr Adani said global alliances are now issue-based rather than allegiance-based.
“A very interesting remark made by Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister that gave both China and the US ‘very important’ status highlights how fast geopolitical couplings are evolving,” he said.
“The past is no longer a predictor for the future, as no country wants to make just a single bet.” Each country is seeking its own form of self-reliance.
While climate change remains the top priority and risk for the global community, it is clear that climate investments will be driven by the energy security agenda and self-interest, he said adding it was evident this year that the façade of just focusing on green energy has been blown away by the European energy crisis.
“While the climate warriors may remain tight-lipped, there is recognition that we need a pragmatic energy transition plan that includes fossil fuels to achieve inclusive growth,” he said.
“The US Inflation Reduction Act has prompted Europe to develop its own green package to prevent outbound migration of technology, money and expertise.”
Mr Adani said Europe’s reactionary move is motivated more by concern for its own energy security and the protection of its industries than by a desire to steer the global green transition.
“In many ways, the divide between the US and Europe could not be more evident as both pursue their own national agendas while still claiming alignment. In my view, there is nothing wrong in doing so,” he said.
Also, it is increasingly evident that onshoring, self-reliance, energy independence, and building resilience in supply chains is as mandatory as is local job creation.
“While we can agree to this in theory, I am returning a little more uncertain about the state of globalization as compared to when I got to Davos given that it is almost impossible for a country or a company to decouple itself and become completely self-reliant,” he said.
It would be too draining and prolonged.
“However, this may not be necessarily bad in the long run for our part of the world as India, Brazil, the Middle East, ASEAN, and African nations, will all find opportunities to expand by stepping into trade vacuums created as a result of the decoupling,” he said.
India, he said, is advantageously positioned away from frozen slippery slopes and may be the primary bright spot among several large economies.
“We had turned out in full force (at the WEF),” he said.
“Our multi-vector, the non-partisan approach has ensured that we are well-respected and have become one of the leading voices batting for the emerging economies. The growing prominence was very visible during the forum, with widespread participation by Indian companies and government officials.” Countries that rose to economic and geopolitical prominence had their governments and businesses working closely towards a common vision, be it the US, Japan, South Korea, or Singapore.
“It’s now on us to do the same to ensure that the 21st century belongs to India!,” he wrote.
“While I am unsure how much of the white pristine snow will vanish exposing the brown of the Swiss alps, I am confident that the percentage of my country’s women and men participating at the World Economic Forum will continue to increase. Perhaps we can start calling the WEF ‘the Indian Summer’ in Davos.”
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