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Microsoft CEO Nadella: We have no global growth, we need AI

Satya Nadella speaking at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Satya Nadella speaking at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The world needs technological breakthroughs like the emerging artificial intelligence (AI) industry to kick start weak economic growth, according to Satya Nadella, the chief executive officer at Microsoft.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Nadella rebutted claims that AI would accelerate wealth disparity and instead said that it could be a vital driver of growth.

"One of the things I am grounded in is the overall world GDP (gross domestic product) growth is not stellar," he said at a panel at the event in Switzerland on Tuesday.

"It's not like we actually have economic growth today. So we actually need technological breakthrough, we need AI," he added.

He said that it was a crucial challenge for tech companies to make sure that AI led to inclusive growth rather than just lining the pockets of the rich. Microsoft has developed some innovations in the space and Nadella told the audience that his company was creating tools that would enable people to create this next technological revolution.

"We should do our very best to train people for the jobs of the future," he said in response to fears that AI could lead to job losses. He noted that Germany - following its reunification - was a perfect example of how a workforce had retrained and adapted to the modern world.

"In our case for example, one of the things that excites me about LinkedIn is to create that economic graph which is ... which is a real-time feedback loop between skills, jobs and people, so that the economic opportunity for every individual can be maximized," he added.

"Our responsibility is to have the AI augment the human ingenuity and augment the human opportunity. I think that's the opportunity in front of us and that's what we have got to go to work on"

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