Davos, Switzerland, is once again playing host to the World Economic Forum (WEF) this week, where investors, business leaders, political leaders and economists converge to discuss the most pressing issues facing the global economy.

Taking place between 15th and 19th January, the WEF is being organised around the theme ‘Rebuilding Trust’, and will include the participation of over 100 governments and some 3,000 paying members. Over 200 sessions will be livestreamed.

The rise of artificial intelligence is being given top billing after the organisation’s surveys found that respondents overwhelmingly ranked it among the top concerns for the coming year, from its influence on election outcomes to its role in perpetuating misleading information.

On Sunday, the International Monetary Fund warned that AI can impact almost 40 per cent of all jobs worldwide, with high-income economies more exposed than those characterised by middle or low incomes.

It also said that AI is likely to worsen inequality, as workers who are able to access the benefits of AI could increase their productivity and salary, while those who cannot are at risk of falling further behind.

Another report released just before the event kicks off found that inequality has accelerated over the last years. Compiled by anti-poverty organisation Oxfam, the report says that the world’s five richest men have doubled their wealth since 2020.

It said that the combined wealth of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault and his family, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Oracle founder Larry Ellison, and famed investor Warren Buffett has jumped from $405 billion in March 2020 to $869 billion in November 2023.

Oxfam also estimated that the 148 top global corporations made $1.8 trillion in profits, 52 percent up on the three-year average, while a majority of the world’s population – five billion people – have effectively become poorer, as inflation fuelled a cost of living crisis.

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Davos, Switzerland

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