A letter from our Editor-in-Chief

Innovation

Editor-in-Chief Sarah O’Carroll on AI, inflation, and what else to expect from Forbes Australia’s 8th issue.

This time last year, the world hadn’t heard of ChatGPT. But since the generative AI tool’s launch by OpenAI on November 30, 2022, there’s been little else the tech sector has talked about.   

But if 2023 was the year of the great AI revolution, 2024 looks set to be the year of the great AI divide. 

Sam Altman’s sudden sacking on November 17th was the first big sign of that.  

Altman, the co-founder, and CEO of OpenAI,  the Microsoft-backed company leading the charge in AI, was ousted from the top job by a board concerned that the company’s expansion was out of control.

It took all of five days for Altman to be reinstated as CEO at OpenAI following two interim CEO’s and a board shakeup – but his initial sacking points to a much deeper divide brewing in tech circles. 

On one side are the AI sceptics (part of the effective altruism movement) – those who believe that AI poses an existential threat to humanity and are calling for urgent regulations to hinder it.

On the other side are the AI advocates, those who want to plough full steam ahead and continue developing AI at breakneck speed. 

Grant Petty, billionaire founder of Blackmagic Design, is part of the sceptic group. While he doesn’t espouse AI leading to an overall end to humanity – he does warn of it leading to an end of the internet as we know it. “I think we’re in the golden age of AI now. What we’re going to get is deep fakes of everything… You’re going to find the entire internet is unusable.” 


Issue 8 out now


Will AI kill the internet star? It’s a clash of the titans’ story we’ll be watching closely in 2024.  

As we reach the end of 2023, the global economic cycle seems to be at a turning point – inflation is falling around the world, unemployment has mostly stayed low, wages are increasing, the big central banks may be at the end of their monetary tightening – and we could be entering a higher-for-longer era of interest rate. 

But 2024 already feels overshadowed by threats. The war in Ukraine shows no sign of ending, and the devastating conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza continues to deliver daily shockwaves.  

The failure of diplomacy from Europe and the United States to effectively intervene in either situation, signals how international relations are changing more than any time since the Second World War. 

And with American and Chinese rivalry continuing to heat up, the idea of a much broader, apocalyptic conflict over Taiwan may not be probable in the short term but seems possible in a way it has not before in the longer term. 

Throw in a potential Trump victory in the 2024 presidential election and a new era of protectionism could quickly disrupt global trade; a possibility that makes our cover RODE Microphones ‘made in Australia’ success story even more impressive, and important. 

With so many uncertainties ahead of us, any predictions for 2024 seem futile.  

But one thing I can predict is our commitment to providing the knowledge, stories, inspiration, and connections needed to navigate this time. 

And this issue is packed full of such stories: how to take an All Black mentality to the boardroom, Grace Forrest’s war on slavery, Telix’s cancer-fighting tech and even the quest to resurrect the Tasmanian Tiger.

I hope you have a relaxing holiday break and no matter what next year holds – we look forward to sharing stories of great innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership – and the people striving to make an impact on the world. 

Forbes Australia Issue 8 is out now. Tap here to secure your copy.

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