AI research and computer science PhD Kai-Fu Lee who rode every wave of the 90's and 00's (head of Google China, Apple voice recognition during Sculley's era, and Microsoft China/Asia Research,) breaks down what AI is, what AI businesses need to thrive, and what the criteria for dominance in the 21st century will look like.

My Notes By Chapter

  1. (1) China's Sputnik moment
  2. In March 2016 when AlphaGo beat Lee Sedol in Go, 280mm Chinese viewers turned in to watch.
  3. "This pattern-finding process is easier when the data is labeled with that desired outcome—"cat" versus "no cat"; "clicked" versus "didn't click"; "won game" versus "lost game."
  4. Deep learning is what’s known as “narrow AI”—intelligence that takes data from one specific domain and applies it to optimizing one specific outcome. While impressive, it is still a far cry from “general AI,” the all-purpose technology that can do everything a human can.
  5. "The only way to survive this battle is to constantly improve one’s product but also to innovate on your business model and build a “moat” around your company. If one’s only edge is a single novel idea, that idea will invariably be copied, your key employees will be poached, and you’ll be driven out of business by VC-subsidized competitors. This rough-and-tumble environment makes a strong contrast to Silicon Valley, where copying is stigmatized and many companies are allowed to coast on the basis of one original idea or lucky break. That lack of competition can lead to a certain level of complacency, with entrepreneurs failing to explore all the possible iterations of their first innovation. The messy markets and dirty tricks of China’s “copycat” era produced some questionable companies, but they also incubated a generation of the world’s most nimble, savvy, and nose-to-the-grindstone entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs will be the secret sauce that helps China become the first country to cash in on AI’s age of implementation.
  6. Until about five years ago, it made sense to directly compare the progress of Chinese and U.S.

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