AI Superpowers Book Summary - AI Superpowers Book explained in key points
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AI Superpowers summary

Kai-Fu Lee

China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order

4.3 (411 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

AI Superpowers by Kai-Fu Lee is a thought-provoking book that explores the future of AI. It highlights the rise of China as an AI powerhouse, the potential job displacement, and how we can navigate the complex ethical implications of this technology.

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    AI Superpowers
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    Thanks to a breakthrough in deep learning, we’re on the verge of an AI economy.

    Until recently, if people were talking about artificial intelligence (AI), it was likely in the context of science-fiction. But these days, everyone from schoolkids to CEOs are wondering what kind of changes AI has in store for us in the coming years.

    In fact, when the author gives talks at schools and executive conferences, he’s found that Chinese kindergarten students ask him the same questions as CEOs, such as, “Are we going to have AI teachers?” and “What kind of jobs are we going to have in the future?”

    While the emergence of real-world AI can seem like a relatively new thing, it’s been brewing for decades and has only now started being a major business tool thanks to a breakthrough in deep learning.

    The story of how we got to deep learning stretches back to the 1950s, when researchers like Marvin Minsky and John McCarthy had a goal of imbuing computers with human intelligence. And when the author started getting involved in this field in the early eighties, there were two camps working toward this: the rule-based people and the neural network folks.

    Rule-based AI believed that the best results would come from programming machines with one rule at a time, such as “cats have triangular-shaped ears.” The neural network camp, on the other hand, preferred to let the machine learn on its own, much as humans do, through experience. This way, a machine can analyze a picture of a cat and respond incorrectly, but this error will become data that it learns from.

    What neural network-based AI really needed was loads of data to analyze and faster computing power, which finally arrived in the mid-2000s. With the improved conditions, AI researcher Geoffrey Hinton was able to finally add the right amount of layers to the “neurons” and essentially multiply the AI processing power to a whole new level.

    When this happened, neural network was rebranded to deep learning. The big breakthrough was made public at a 2012 contest when Hinton’s new AI algorithm blew away the competition at visual recognition.

    Suddenly, AI was capable of processing complex problems, recognizing patterns and coming up with amazing results. It was clear that this technology was now applicable to a whole array of everyday functions, including visual and audio recognition, making complex financial decisions and even driving a car. Thanks to deep learning, an AI economy was on the way.

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    What is AI Superpowers about?

    AI Superpowers (2018) takes a revealing look at the US and China as the world stands at the precipice of the AI economy, a multi-trillion dollar industry of algorithms and automation. As a tech expert and venture capitalist with experience in both China and the US, author Kai-Fu Lee guides us through the past to discover how we got to where we are and what to expect in the future.

    AI Superpowers Review

    AI Superpowers (2018) by Kai-Fu Lee offers a thought-provoking exploration of artificial intelligence and its impact on society. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With insider knowledge from a leading AI expert, the book provides unique insights into the field and its potential future.
    • It delves into the economic and social implications of AI, shedding light on both the opportunities and challenges it presents.
    • The book's balanced perspective helps readers navigate the complexities of AI, making it both informative and engaging.

    Best quote from AI Superpowers

    Now under the name Meituan Dianping, Wangs company handles 20 million orders a day and is valued at $30 billion, making it more valuable than Airbnb.

    —Kai-Fu Lee
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    Who should read AI Superpowers?

    • Anyone curious about artificial intelligence
    • Executives interested in emerging markets
    • Futurists and technocrats

    About the Author

    Kai-Fu Lee has an extensive history within the tech industry. He has a degree in computer science from Columbia University, and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon. He’s also worked as an executive for Apple, Microsoft and SGI. More recently, he was president of Google China before launching his own venture capitalist firm Sinovation in 2009.

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    AI Superpowers FAQs 

    What is the main message of AI Superpowers?

    The main message of AI Superpowers is the race between China and the US to dominate the AI industry.

    How long does it take to read AI Superpowers?

    The reading time for AI Superpowers depends on your reading speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is AI Superpowers a good book? Is it worth reading?

    AI Superpowers is a compelling read that explores the future of artificial intelligence. It provides valuable insights and raises important questions.

    Who is the author of AI Superpowers?

    AI Superpowers is authored by Kai-Fu Lee.

    What to read after AI Superpowers?

    If you're wondering what to read next after AI Superpowers, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Understanding Artificial Intelligence by Nicolas Sabouret
    • AI 2041 by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan
    • Competing in the Age of AI by Marco Iansiti & Karim R. Lakhani
    • Leadership by Algorithm by David De Cremer
    • The Age of AI by Henry Kissinger
    • What To Do When Machines Do Everything by Malcolm Frank
    • The Economic Singularity by Calum Chace
    • All-in On AI by Tom Davenport & Nitin Mittal
    • I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was by Barbara Sher with Barbara Smith
    • AI for Business Leaders by Michael Ramsay