DAVOS, SWITZERLAND – The star who stole the stage at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, which just ended here yesterday, wasn't the stuff of flesh and blood but of data-driven algorithms.
US President Donald Trump, China's Xi Jinping, India's Narendra Modi, France's Emmanuel Macron and Great Britain's Theresa May were no shows at this gathering of global movers and shakers, occupied with more pressing matters at home.
That left hundreds of global business executives with less distraction as they turned their attention to Artificial Intelligence (AI), a term few of them knew even a couple of years ago and a technology they still don't fully comprehend.
Yet in one session after another, they shared what they were (or weren't) doing about it and learned how AI would transform their industries, their societies and international relations, perhaps as no technology before it.
Not even news late in the week from Venezuela shifted the conversation all that much. It may take weeks to determine whether Nicolas Maduro can hang on to power in Caracas with Russian, Chinese and Cuban backing — and against US and widespread Latin American opposition.