The Future of Work: AI shifts in Critical Skills

At the World Artificial Intelligence Conference 2019, the world’s attention was firmly captivated by a much-anticipated ‘Clash of Titans’ between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Alibaba Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma, who faced off over their divergent views ranging on artificial intelligence, technology, education and the future of work. It was apparent from the onset of their debate that the two leading luminaries of the tech world do not share the same vision, as Jack Ma maintains an optimistic outlook on AI, asserting that humanity will be able to harness the power of AI and benefit from a new chapter in society, whereas Elon Musk took on a cautionary stance, warning about the danger of AI running amok.

“The biggest mistake researchers are doing is thinking they are intelligent compared to AI.”  Elon Musk

Consequently, they also came to different conclusions regarding the future of work, with Elon Musk reiterating his concerns that automation will lead to jobs becoming obsolete, while Jack Ma postulates that the problem is not with the lack of jobs, and the focus should be on making people happier and to experience life.

“In the AI period people will live 120 years. Problem comes when people lives are getting better, they don’t want to have children. We will have a lot of jobs (for example, taking care of elder people) with no people wanting to do them.”  Jack Ma

In anticipation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, both Ma and Musk also shared their recommendations for education and addressing skill gaps.

Join us on November 3 to hear from two experts who will help dissect the underlying context and global issues discussed during this far-reaching debate while sharing their further insights on How AI will power the Future of Work and Keeping the future of work human.

The keynote presentations will be followed by three rounds of expert-led discussions, where the audience will be invited to share their ideas, observations and questions, while delving deeper into the challenges and opportunities presented by the rise of Artificial Intelligence, the consequences for the future of work, and the implications for the future of education and re-skilling in the context of Industrial 4.0. Our third expert will wrap up all findings into a conclusion. Don’t miss it!

The event will be held in an interactive hybrid format, where the online audience will be able to interact simultaneously with the on-site speakers and participants. swissnex China, as a Swiss International Ambassador, is hosting this event as part of the Swiss Digital Days 2020 / The Future of Work: AI shifts in Critical Skills, in collaboration with Tencent Research Institute and the Chair of Human Resource Management and Leadership, University of Zurich


  • 09:00-09:05 CET: Welcome and Introduction Dr. Felix Moesner, Science Consul and CEO of swissnex China
  • 09:05-09:15: Keynote Speech Dr. Siyan Xu, Deputy Director of Smart Industry Research Center,Tencent Research Institute
  • 09:15-09:25: Keynote Speech Ms. Iris Long, Writer, Curator & Researcher on Art, Science and Technology, Central Academy of Fine Arts
  • 09:25-10:25: Discussion (3 Rounds)
  • 10:25-10:40: Conclusion Prof. Dr. Jochen Menges, Chair of Human Resource Management and Leadership, Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich
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