2018, the first year of digital acceleration

Fortunately, the world has emerged unscathed from major events in terms of geopolitical risks that had the world worried, including the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, the Dutch general election, German federal elections, and the inauguration of the second term for Chinese President Xi Jinping. It is true that there still remains a concern about a crisis originating in the Middle East in the wake of the implementation of the Jerusalem Law, but it is also true that the defeat of Islamic State (IS), the biggest terrorist group in the world, has also been accomplished. Thanks to these developments, the global economy recorded a better performance than many great scholars expected. However, the North Korean nuclear issue held the world’s attention until the end of the year as a global geopolitical risk.

A number of geopolitical risks have gone below the surface, but another craze has been sweeping through East Asia – cryptocurrency. The rapid growth of the cryptocurrency market has bigger impacts than the “AlphaGo shock.” Even before regulatory authorities could decide on regulatory directions, Korean society reacted strongly against government regulation and is now divided into pros and cons. This heated debate is still an ongoing issue.

The controversy over cryptocurrency occurred because it is hard to understand the reality based on the existing definitions of “currency.” Currency is an “object” that people believe carries “value,” but there are an increasing number of people who “believe” that a technology represented in numbers, not the means of storing value as defined in the current statutes, has “value.” There are even vigorous exchanges of the technology spreading widely while the existing laws and systems fail to interpret this phenomenon, giving rise to a divide between laws and reality. It can be described as a divide between present and future derived from new technology.

This divide is bound to grow bigger and wider by digital transformation, which will further accelerate this year. As artificial intelligence (AI), more than anything else, expands its influence into major decision-making areas in a variety of industries, business intelligence (BI) capabilities, together with data analysis capabilities, will also increase in importance. Following the popularization of cryptocurrency itself, new innovations are expected to emerge this year from blockchain technology, a driving force for the development of cryptocurrency markets. Huge investments in blockchain technology will be made soon, as a result of which new types of digital ledgers will very likely become an enabling technology that will eventually disrupt industries worldwide. Such changes will feel more real in smart cities, which are expected to spring up in every corner of the world. Large cities in the world will meet demands of citizens in more sustainable ways on the strength of AI working in an IoT environment.

The rapidly changing digital environment will undermine the established grammar of our society. Complexity and uncertainty at levels that are different from those of geopolitical crises will make it difficult for businesses to take strategic decisions. Policy-making authorities will also find it hard to respond quickly as things unfold in ways that are so different from the prevailing grammar of the past. It may become hard even to find a country to benchmark.

2018, the first year of digital transformation! Judgment to interpret the changing grammar as well as action for implementation is needed more than anything else. This requires a new decision-making process. K.E.Y. PLATPORM, a global conference organized by MoneyToday that debuted in 2013, seeks answers on how strategic decision-making should be changed to fit into the digital age. It will also propose a methodology on how “failures,” which may be caused by quick decision-making to match the speed of digital transformation, can be accepted, overcome and turned into stepping stones to success.


Making decisions and overcoming failures in the digital age, as defined by behavioral economics

In the digital age, the left brains of organizations will be replaced gradually with AI. There are high expectations that AI-assisted decisions will not only be more reasonable and rational than human decisions but also highly likely to lead to successful results. In the digital age, neither the business of a company nor policy of the government can be successful unless it generates value added such as personalization, diversification, and segmentation. Whether government or business, economic players will strive to enhance predictability regarding business management and policy environments by quantifying consumer behavior to the maximum extent possible. This is why the role of AI is getting bigger.

Paradoxically, however, the more AI application is expanded, the more confusion it may bring. Human decision-making is made through balance and coordination between rational, logical and reasonable areas and emotional, experiential, and intuitive areas. AI can reinforce the rational areas but may not be properly applicable in the emotional area. Therefore, when humans or organizations use AI in their decision-making process, it may bring about unexpected results. AI may fail to resolve a given issue or cause more confusion as it cannot read emotions, experiences, and intuition, that is, unreasonable judgments and actions.

For this reason, K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2018 intends to delve deep into the emotional, experiential, and intuitive areas of the human and organizational decision-making process, the capabilities or problems of which it is hard even for AI to reinforce or resolve. Failures are inevitable in these areas, but we plan to propose a specific methodology by which you can accept such failures with wisdom and take off higher.

Decision-making in the digital age inevitably leads to small failures. However, shrinking back for fear of messing something up is the worst choice that you could make. Unicorns – global platform companies leading the digital age – consider fear of failure the worst of all sins.

To come up with a methodology to overcome failure in the digital age, we have applied the insights of gurus representing the community of behavioral economists who investigate the actuality of human behavior. In addition to this, we collaborated with Stanford, UC Berkeley and UCLA for expert interviews, case studies, and analysis of patterns. To find real-life cases required to develop solutions for each type of failure, we also covered the stories of 50 global innovators in the U.S., China, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, and Sweden and conducted in-depth interviews on what changes have been made in their strategic decision-making processes and how they have overcome failures.

Solutions to new issues facing us in the digital age will be presented at the plenary session and breakout sessions of the K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2018.