In a speech made at the 2018 World Artificial Intelligence (AI) Summit in Shanghai, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, offered some stark insights into the direction and meaning of some of the latest technological developments, and in particular AI. The theme of the conference was centered on a new era of artificial intelligence empowerment.

During the speech, Ma went into some detail explaining his thoughts on AI, its meaning for the future of mankind.

“It is not just any technology, but representative of a shift in the way we understand our world, our future and even how we define our humanity.”

He also acknowledged people’s fears and concerns about such technological advances. Those who saw industrial automation as a threat were vindicated that the machine and computer program replacement could do their jobs more efficiently and even more effectively.

Overall, the message of his speech was not so pessimistic but did offer a frank reminder about an attitude we should take to the meaning of technological development.


After discussing the nature of AI, Ma reminded us why we should not be threatened by the technology. The point is that we don’t leave the new technology entirely in the hands of the industries that create and use them. He mentioned the example of Fintech, a sector whose participants try to make technology work for the finance industry to make it stronger and smoother. Jack said he preferred the idea of FinTech – ensuring that new technology could empower ordinary people and bring financial services to the masses.

Ma didn’t stop at FinTech. He also explained how Blockchain, AI and other technologies faced the same problem. The technologies of all stripes won’t move forward unless it can be properly integrated into the industrial service sector. Without it – the society can’t really be improved.

Apparently complex and inaccessible technology concepts like Blockchain can easily frustrate the masses. People can’t see how it benefits them so, according to Ma. Its creators and drivers have to do more to push for wider and more accessible integration – they must bring new technology to the masses.

Original Chinese source