What is Artificial Intelligence?

It Isn’t Exactly What You Read in Books and See in the Movies

Many people confuse artificial intelligence (or machine learning) with what they see in science fiction movies.

What you typically see in science fiction movies is “general AI”, or AI that is comparable (or even superior) to humans – including reasoning, conceptual learning, common sense, planning, cross-domain thinking, creativity, and even self-awareness and emotions. But today’s technology is far from this type of general AI.

Today's AI Technology

Today’s AI is “narrow AI”, or a technology that takes in huge amounts of information from a specific domain (say, loan repayment histories) and uses it to make a decision in a specific case (whether to give an individual a loan) in the service of a specified goal (maximizing profits for the lender).

Think of a spreadsheet on steroids, without programming and simply trained on big data. These tools can outperform human beings at certain tasks. This is already incredibly useful, because narrow AI is fast, accurate, works around-the-clock, and can be applied to many tasks, with substantial economic benefit. PWC estimates about $16 trillion of worldwide GDP will be contributed by AI by 2030. Learn more about today's AI and how it is poised to change industries, jobs, and our everyday lives in AI Superpowers.

The Future of AI

How far are we from general AI? We simply don’t know enough to estimate. Because to achieve general AI will require dozens of significant breakthroughs, when the field of AI has only see one big breakthrough in 60 years.

For more information about the capabilities of modern AI and what is to come in the near future, get a copy of AI Superpowers.

Satya Nadella

CEO, Microsoft

"Kai-Fu Lee's smart analysis on human-AI coexistence is clear-eyed and a must-read. We must look deep within ourselves for the values and wisdom to guide AI's development."

Marc Benioff

Chairman & CEO Salesforce

"In his brilliant book, Kai-Fu Lee applies his superpowers to predicting the disruptive shifts that will define the AI-powered future and proposes a revolutionary social contract that forges a new synergy between AI and the human heart."

Arianna Huffington

Founder, HuffPost, and founder & CEO, Thrive Global

"Kai-Fu Lee's experience as an AI pioneer, top investor, and cancer survivor has led to this brilliant book about global technology. AI Superpowers gives us a guide to a future that celebrates all the benefits that AI will bring, while cultivating what is unique about our humanity."