AI Superpowers: China, Silicone Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-fu Lee is so interesting that I want to share it chapter by chapter. Lee explains artificial intelligence very clearly and makes his argument forcefully. He’s a passionate Chinese nationalist but I don’t blame him. Everybody is a passionate nationalist except for a few boring progressives in the West. Lee exaggerates China’s positives but it’s quite refreshing against the background of the self-deprecating Westerners I meet in a academia.
China awakened to artificial intelligence ten years after the West, says Kai-fu Lee. In 2016, when the Chinese finally noticed that AI was a big deal, the gigantic intellectual breakthrough that made AI possible had already been accomplished by Americans.
Still, says Lee, China will be the biggest beneficiary of the AI revolution. It doesn’t have the brilliant researchers and intellectuals like the US does. But this doesn’t matter because the invention stage is behind us. Currently, we are in the implementation stage where the spectacular breakthroughs accomplished by the Americans aren’t being taken deeper but, rather, wider.
China, says Lee, has no genius inventors but it has what matters more in this stage of AI’s development. Here are the factors that will give it unbeatable advantage: