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Disinformation cited as the biggest short-term risk of 2024

Written on Jan 26, 2024

The World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report 2024 highlights the dangers of AI-driven misinformation, with disinformation named as the top concern for the year. 

Key concerns for 2024 include the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and the interlinked risks of AI-driven misinformation and disinformation, coupled with societal polarization. The impact of falsified information on societal unrest is expected to become particularly significant during elections in several major economies scheduled for the next two years. 

Interstate armed conflict ranks among the top five concerns for the next two years, with existing conflicts and geopolitical tensions posing a risk of broader conflict contagion. 

The report also urged leaders to reconsider their approaches to addressing global risks, advocating for rapid global cooperation to establish safeguards against the most disruptive emerging risks, such as AI in conflict decision-making. 

It also suggests alternative actions that do not rely solely on international cooperation, such as enhancing individual and state resilience against misinformation and disinformation through digital literacy campaigns and promoting research and development in climate modelling and technologies to accelerate the energy transition. Both public and private sectors are called upon to contribute to these efforts. 

“Artificial intelligence breakthroughs will radically disrupt the risk outlook for organizations with many struggling to react to threats arising from misinformation, disintermediation, and strategic miscalculation,” said Carolina Klint, Marsh McLennan Europe chief commercial officer. “At the same time, companies are having to negotiate supply chains made more complex by geopolitics and climate change and cyber threats from a growing number of malicious actors. It will take a relentless focus to build resilience at organizational, country, and international levels – and greater cooperation between the public and private sectors – to navigate this rapidly evolving risk landscape.” 

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