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Kai-Fu Lee was born on December 3, 1961 in Taipei, Taiwan. He earned a B.S. degree in computer science from Columbia University and a Ph.D in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University. In 1988, he completed his doctoral dissertation on Sphinx, the first large-vocabulary, speaker-independent, vis mere continuous speech recognition system. Lee has written two books on speech recognition and more than 60 papers in computer science. His doctoral dissertation was published in 1988 as a Kluwer monograph, Automatic Speech Recognition: The Development of the Sphinx Recognition System. Together with Alex Waibel, another Carnegie Mellon researcher, Lee edited Readings in Speech Recognition. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre

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This book cleverly juxtaposes science fiction and technical analysis to illustrate and expound ten major areas in which AI is already transforming the world we know. The SF stories, translated from Chinese by various translators, are uneven in quality, but some are quite good, as is the analysis that follows each. Not everything here is new -- there have been plenty of books on some of these ten areas such as games, jobs, technology, and warfare -- but the assemblage here adds up to something new and devastating. AI comes across as an enormous, unstoppable, hydra-headed beast. Its alliance with the forces of capitalism will be inseparably intimate and the combined result overpowering. We should probably all acquaint ourselves with AI's big picture -- how virtually nothing will escape it -- and this book offers probably the best acreage of canvas to do so.… (mere)
Cr00 | 2 andre anmeldelser | Apr 1, 2023 |
Wider in scope than the title suggests

I enjoyed reading this book because of the high level view it provides of several important tends in tech in the last decade and likely the next one: the growing significance of the Chinese tech ecosystem and of machine learning based applications.

The background section explaining the rise of and competition between Chinese tech companies for the Chinese market is probably good enough reason to get the book, because the stories in it challenge many unstated assumptions in the West about the nature of Chinese tech companies today. ( Eg. That they are copycats which map neatly to an American prototype, or that they are almost like government sponsored monopolies, or even that American companies' failure to dominate that market are mostly due to government action ).

I found his take on which industries are more susceptible to automation in the coming decades based on data categories, and his appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of the American and Chinese tech ecosystems thought provoking. For example, that Chinese companies will have or already have the data edge in industries that mix digital and physical world operations, due to vertical integration and amount of users,
And that America has the edge in top talent. This later factor would only come into play in the case of a true breakthrough (eg in the amount of labelled data needed), so it is unpredictable. In other industries he sees them as more evenly matched.

There's more in it than those two topics. Later sections make the case that the effects on employment may be more relevant to the world at large than the rivalry angle in the title.

I liked the organization of the book and the clarity of the writing, though it comes at the cost of some repetition. In terms of things that seem missing: more digging into the constraints different ecosystems operate under, eg privacy and labor laws and their enforcement, surveillance, as well as trade secrets. He mentions there is a privacy law in China as well, but there's no digging into details comparing them or what it means in practice.
… (mere)
orm_tmr | 9 andre anmeldelser | Mar 16, 2022 |
Classical case of bad China business writing:
* Reduce world to a binary contrast between ‘Caricature USA’ vs ‘Caricature China’;
* Ignore the political context and the CCP’s behaviour and aims entirely;
* Fall for the ‘Amazing China’ propaganda trap, engage in baseless speculation based on anecdotes and pilots and PR stunts.
Questionable economics, non-existent labour theory.
Alright introduction to debate on impact of AI.
sensehofstede | 9 andre anmeldelser | Dec 21, 2021 |
AI 2041: Ten Visions for our Future by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Quifan is a unique undertaking. AI 2041 seeks to explore the way that AI (Artificial Intelligence) will advance and change over the next twenty years. Both authors have experience in the tech fields (Kai-Fu in particular as he owns and operates a venture capital that focuses on technology). However, after leaving their respective jobs at Google they took very different career routes. Chen has pivoted to become a successful sci-fi writer using his knowledge and experience to create realistic stories with a science fiction slant. This book is a combination of their two vocations.

There are 10 short sci-fi pieces written by Chen that delve into different existing (and evolving) technologies powered by AI through a realistic lens. At the end of each story, Kai-Fu discusses in detail why he believes these advances in AI will have sufficiently progressed by the year 2041 to make these stories seem less like science fiction and more like science fact. Some of the topics discussed like deep learning (we're seeing the beginnings of it now with Google Maps following where we've been and making suggestions) and the mechanization of the workforce (this has been happening for years but in twenty years time we could see major industries like medicine, education, and construction almost entirely taken over by AI) have been developing for decades.

Each of the stories was so well-written and the analyses were so fascinating that at times I forgot my absolutely debilitating fear of Artificial Intelligence (until I read the section on autonomous vehicles). This is a great read for fans of sci-fi, technology, or futurology. And it's one of the few short story collections I've read in recent memory where each of the offerings could stand on its own. (And I actually recall more than half of them after finishing it roughly 3 days ago.) 10/10
… (mere)
AliceaP | 2 andre anmeldelser | Nov 18, 2021 |


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