Stronger private sector role, tapping on AI can help in global poverty battle: World Bank chief

He cited the example of ChatGPT, the large language model-based chatbot launched in November last year, which lets users access information they would not otherwise be able to, and also write things in a really good way.

“What I think AI will do is change the premium between just knowing things, and so-called knowing how to put a greater premium in how you use them, in how you manage them and how you extract value on them,” said Mr Banga.

He drew parallels with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s idea that there will be a higher premium placed on jobs requiring EQ rather than IQ. On the first day of the SFF, Mr Tharman had said in a fireside chat that AI will change the traditional hierarchy of jobs.

Adopting such a lens when looking, especially at the developing world, will be a game changer, said Mr Banga, adding that digitisation and the use of data will be big enablers in the shift.

“It will change how we approach climate, it will change how we approach education and health in our human capital efforts, it will change how we approach anti-corruption platforms, it will change everything,” he said.


Mr Banga said the World Bank, which was established in 1944, needs to respond to the challenges of the modern age.

“The thinking that you could somehow isolate dealing with poverty and shared prosperity, from the challenges of climate, pandemics, fragility, conflict, violence, soil degradation … I think that logic has been shown to be invalid. These are intertwined challenges, and they affect each other very quickly,” he said.

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