Vladimir must be taking a breather from his usual jaw-dropping sound-byte style that we have come to expect in previous Valdai events. With Syria getting mopped up, Turkey in his pocket, and China's new oil benchmark visible on the horizon, perhaps Russia's champion no longer feels a need to bring the dogs of the West to heel with his usual stern looks.
Nevertheless, there's plenty to pay attention to in this week's Valdai Discussion Club event - and not just from Putin. There's no missing the focus being given to the A.I. revolution. This must be a new favorite subject of Vlad's. But it's not just him. Keep listening through the three-and-a-half Youtube video below until you get to the speech presented by Jack Ma from Alibaba. He warns that technological revolutions preceded both WWI and WWII, so we better not screw it up this time by hurtling ourselves into WWIII via the Big Data revolution already in progress.
Sputnik posted a few of President Putin's remarks. This section copied below stood out to me because this goes along with the blog I wrote at the beginning of this year when the new U.N. secretary-general took his seat at the world body. Russia is, and always has been, very committed to seeing the United Nations play a greater role in global governance.
In the final part of his speech, the Russian president underlined the role of the United Nations, as an organization tasked to create and maintain international stability and order.
According to Putin, there is no alternative to the institution with its universal legitimacy. He stressed that the organization must remain in the center of the international system.
The official website of the Valdai Club [linked here] is the place to go for full coverage of the event. Again, I have to smirk at the obsession now clearly in view with the dawn of mankind's integration with Artificial Intelligence, as shown by Valdai's info graphic below.
Hamid Karzai, former president of Afghanistan, also gave a speech. Make sure you listen to the awkward moment when he asked a fellow Afghani if it would be OK if he invited to dinner a U.S. Deep State rep who was responsible for the accidental killing of this man's family. (Spoiler: the man said Yes.)