… were a painful, boring slog. And I couldn’t skip ahead because I was doing the book on Audible and didn’t see the text.
To cut a long and excruciating story short, Kai-fu Lee was going on his merry way, making megabucks developing AI, when suddenly he got diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. As many people do in that situation, he realized that he had wasted his life on being a money-hungry dickwad who only cared about work.
He found religion (sorta), started treating his poor long-suffering wife better, and even stopped being a total jerk to his kids. That’s when he realized that the most important thing in the world is loooooooove. And loooooove, incidentally, will help people overcome the joblessness that AI will bring.
Lee goes on in the next two chapters to explain how loooooooove will help the jobless. At this point, the book gets extremely repetitive and circular. The prescriptions Lee rolls out are embarrassingly ancient. They’ve existed for sixty years and I’d think people would have gotten over them by now. The government will slap gigantic taxes on the Jeff Bezoses of the world and use the money to pay parents to raise their kids. And it will all be structured like a career, with promotions and certifications! Or you can volunteer! Or raise your own kids for money! Or volunteer! Or even, I don’t know, volunteer, or something like that! Or help people live lifestyles that offset global warming! As a volunteer!
This could have been a much better book if Lee stayed in his wheelhouse and talked about AI instead of trying to save the world by proposing global spiritual breakthroughs.