Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways From Mobile World Congress and 4YFN 2024

The New AI Economy, the title of Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith’s keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, could arguably double as the theme of this year’s exhibition and its sister event 4YFN, a conference that takes place at the same time focused on startup innovation.

AI’s breakneck diffusion across tech was confirmed at this year’s MWC, almost completely supplanting the metaverse as the talk of the show, which attracted more than 90,000 visitors, Around 500 exhibitors listed some AI capability, twice as many as last year, and with hundreds more talking about it, notes research firm Enders Analysis.

AI also took center stage at 4YFN.  More than a dozen sessions focused on the topic. (The Innovator’s Editor-in-Chief moderated two of them. See the accompanying photo).

The 2024 gathering in Barcelona served as a kind of coming out party for multilingual LLMs; mobile phones  positioned themselves as the biggest consumer window into AI’s new features and services; there was a focus on quantum technologies, which are being driven by AI; and a glimpse of what’s next including flying cars, the spiral economy and a growing list of exponential technologies. Paying subscribers can read on to get the key takeaways.

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About the author

Jennifer L. Schenker

Jennifer L. Schenker, an award-winning journalist, has been covering the global tech industry from Europe since 1985, working full-time, at various points in her career for the Wall Street Journal Europe, Time Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Red Herring and BusinessWeek. She is currently the editor-in-chief of The Innovator, an English-language global publication about the digital transformation of business. Jennifer was voted one of the 50 most inspiring women in technology in Europe in 2015 and 2016 and was named by Forbes Magazine in 2018 as one of the 30 women leaders disrupting tech in France. She has been a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers judge for 20 years. She lives in Paris and has dual U.S. and French citizenship.