Alibaba's Ma champions UN e-commerce drive for development

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Ma advices that the tech community should focus on making the machines do what humans can not. "It remembers better than you, it counts faster than you, and it won't be angry with competitors", Ma added.

"In the coming 30 years, the world's pain will be much more than happiness, because there are many more problems that we have come across", Ma said in Chinese, speaking about potential job disruptions caused by technology. In this way, machines won't replace humans entirely, but will work as a "human partner".

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He explained how he tried early on to warn against how tech would disrupt traditional trailers, but he was largely ignored, according to several published reports. This time he wanted to warn against the impact of new technologies and it would not sound alarming now as people have started acknowledging the negative impact of digital rage.

"Fifteen years ago I gave speeches 200 or 300 times reminding everyone the Internet will impact all industries, but people didn't listen because I was a nobody", he said.

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Ironically, Ma's own company has invested a lot of money in areas like artificial intelligence and cloud computing, in an effort to expand into new sectors beyond just e-commerce business.

The Alibaba co-founder also spoke about the rise of AI and robots and said that this technology will be required to process the massive amount of data that is being generated today, which is something a human brain can not do.

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Ma also came down on the conventional banking industry and suggested that lending must become more inclusive to cover larger section of the society. In addition to that, he also predicted a much shorter work hours per week, that is "four hours a day, maybe three days a week". The lack of a robust credit system drives up the costs for everyone, he said. His comments were made at a speech to entrepreneurs in Zhengzhou, China. As he took the stage, the crowd surged closer and snapped selfies with Ma in the background.

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