Discovery on Steroids: How AI Will Speed up Innovation

The pace of progress has slowed. It now takes 18 times as many researchers to double the performance of a computer chip than it did in the 1970s. And there are 20 times as many researchers in the US as in 1930, yet productivity growth has stagnated. At the same time, society is facing an increasing number of challenges, including climate change, unpredictable pandemics, biodiversity loss, increasing inequality and social division.

We need answers and we need them quickly.

Enter artificial intelligence. AI has the potential to dramatically increase the quality and quantity of innovation across all domains. Emerging AI technologies allow us to radically shorten drug development cycles, accelerate the design of new materials and predict migration flows. And yet we are currently only at the beginning of this huge development. The number and types of AI applications are increasing rapidly.

Unleashing the potential of AI for accelerated innovation requires targeted action in three areas:

  1. Machine learning: How do machines learn, and how can AI help us to speed up scientific discovery and innovation?
  2. Communities of discovery: How can we build ecosystems that allow for accelerated innovation? What economic, legal and socio-political conditions allow us to quickly turn ideas into action?
  3. AI, humans and societal innovation: How can AI impact progress in the private and public sectors? And how can we as individuals learn to live and thrive with AI?

The conference, organized by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI), the Swiss Re Institute and IBM Research, will provide a forum for discussing these three fields together with AI thought leaders and decision-makers from academia, industry, government and society.

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