The currency of the AI-driven economy is talent. But while it is true that talent is high in demand, it is also short in supply.
This especially rings true for the economies that fail to attract and build their own talented workforces. Combine this with more than half of the population in the developing world lacking basic digital skills, and the gap between the high income and talent-rich nations and the rest of the world is widening.
While there are undeniably many challenges ahead, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is also a great opportunity for countries, cities and companies to leapfrog ahead and become more competitive.
These conclusions drawn by the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2020, launched today at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos, underline that AI should not hinder our global workforce, but be a means to upskill employees and boost the economies in emerging markets and beyond.
Here’s a look at the report in a bit more detail.
The Best Countries For Talent
For the seventh year in a row, Switzerland remains the most competitive country in the world. It excels at lifelong learning and skills development. The top five countries also include the US, Singapore, Sweden and Denmark. Generally speaking, countries with an appetite for innovation and technology have bolstered their rankings strongly. Those already active in areas such as AI or advanced technologies, including fintech and medtech, and which have already made significant investment in these fields have the best platform for boosting their human capital and being competitive.
When in the late 1990s India became a global offshore base for IT services, very few people could have anticipated the economic benefits that this would bring. And yet, in a short period of time, India became a talent champion of the region, still continuing to improve its capacity to grow its talent pool. In a similar fashion and two decades later, countries such as China and Costa Rica now harbor potential to become AI talent champions and global delivery centres for AI applications.
Smart Cities take the lead as innovation incubators
Cities are a hotbed for creativity and innovation and will be key in accelerating technological advances. Cities tend to be more agile in developing specific AI initiatives. This year, the best performing cities include New York, followed by London, Singapore, San Francisco and Boston. And while many of the top 20 cities are American, there are many examples of cities from less developed countries that are quickly catching up.