The pope and the white puffer jacket

It was a super popular photo with over twenty-five million views on Twitter, but it was a fake. In times of quantum computers, artificial intelligence, blockchain and organic computers, all responsible for dishing out ready-made news and information, who should we believe, especially when we have to make vital decisions for our future? The topic was explored during a recent forum organised in Milan by GRS, an international strategic research company, and was dedicated to leading trade fair organisers. Professor Gianluca Salviotti of SDA Bocconi pointed out how technological evolution, through software such as chatGPT, makes it possible to ask artificial intelligence to write an article on a certain topic. We have all read how investigations are underway to see how certain foreign powers have influenced the course of the US elections or the Brexit by spreading information that could have influenced public opinion. Hollywood actors and screenwriters are going on strike, and one of the reasons is that they fear being replaced by artificial intelligence. In the latest Indiana Jones film, out in 2023, a young-looking Harrison Ford was the result of using digital technologies. From a commercial standpoint, we experience the same doubts and uncertainties. Reviews or information that glorify the qualities of a product or that, conversely, crush it, are increasingly easy to create, precisely by using the tools that modern technology makes available. Dream holidays, miraculous energy savings, software that promise to solve all kinds of problems: we are constantly bombarded with suggestions and clues that make it increasingly difficult to make decisions. On the other hand, at times we fail to capitalize on certain opportunities simply because these do not enter our sphere of information. What do trade fairs have to do with this? If I must buy a product or enter into a business relationship, I will probably find a thousand pieces of information in the virtual world. However, these are strategic decisions, important investments, relationships that can push my business in one direction or another. The direct contact with a potential business partner or looking at a product and touching it to see what I am actually buying or evaluating a service, will make an even greater difference than in the past. Therefore, face-to-face discussions, in the comfort of an exhibition booth, or maybe even a dinner, will be crucial elements to confirm the authenticity of the information we have gathered in the virtual world, and make decisions based on the real world. All things considered, even profits better be real.