Kai-fu Lee’s AI Superpowers, Chapter 1

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:

Continue reading “Kai-fu Lee’s AI Superpowers, Chapter 1”

South Korea and COVID

I highly highly VERY HIGHLY recommend that people read this thread on how South Korea deals with COVID.

Cultural differences are real. People are not widgets. This would never work in a Western country. All of the discussions about how well South Korea has dealt with the pandemic come either from idiots or from politically correct maniacs.

Stay on the Move

Pulmonary thromboembolism is on the rise in some regions. It can be a result of a more sedentary lifestyle in quarantine. Gyms are closed, people are bored, stressed and lonely and tend to overeat, for many there’s less physical activity than they normally get walking across the parking lot at work and then around the office.

I highly recommend (especially if you are 40+ and not very slim) to keep track of how much you move during the day. For instance, I decided not to do leisure-related screens unless I’m on the move. Given that I worship screens, it’s a whole lot of movement. As a result, I’m 8 lbs lighter than on the day the quarantine started. It’s not an Adele-type miracle but it’s not a bad result.

More Numbers

This was released at the end of April:

Today, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), America’s largest food and retail union with 1.3 million members in grocery stores, pharmacies, meatpacking plants, and other essential businesses, released a new update on the growing number of frontline workers who have been exposed, sick, and died from COVID-19.

According to the UFCW’s internal reports, which were released on Workers Memorial Day, there have been at least 72 worker deaths and 5,322 workers directly impacted among UFCW members. This covers grocery, retail, pharmacy, meatpacking, and other essential industries and those directly impacted include workers who tested positive for COVID-19, missed work due to self-quarantine, are awaiting test results, or have been hospitalized, and/or are symptomatic.

It’s a 0,0055% mortality rate in people who never stopped working. Of course, it’s a population that tends to be younger but with the money that’s been sunk into the quarantine we could have bought Hazmat suits for every employer over 40 and have done with it.

It’s staying at home (especially the nursing home) that kills people, not going to work.