Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that protectionism is the “total opposite” of innovation, and that thanks to technology and innovation, the doors to new opportunities can be flung wide open.
Speaking at the first International Expo in Shanghai, China, in a panel which featured Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Dr Muscat said that innovation was helping small countries like Malta bridge its geographical limitations and spurring on every sector of the economy.
On the subject of Artificial Intelligence, Dr Muscat said this was a technology with the potential to change not only the world of work, but also our lifestyle in general. He said that there needed to be in-depth discussions about the subject, including what skills and levels of education would be needed in future, when the machines would be carrying out the tasks that humans are doing today.
Dr Muscat said that the most popular arguments against AI stemmed from a place of fear, and they were the same arguments which were used to oppose free trade and the freedom of movement.
He said that while this technology presented its own set of challenges, there was nothing to be afraid of, and the burden of this challenge had to be shared by all, guided by a global regulatory AI framework.