For anyone who wants to understand the dynamics of AI today, and how AI is likely to affect how people will work and live – and what jobs are going to thrive or fall away – Dr. Lee is the ideal guide. Through his wide personal experience in the growth of artificial intelligence in the United States and in China, he knows better than anyone the social and political implications of AI and new technologies and how they will influence the future global economy.
AI Superpowers has given Dr. Lee the chance to connect the dots on four decades of work, growth, and evolution. As he reflects on developments in AI through his own personal journey in different companies and cultures, from AI researcher and business executive to venture capitalist, author, and cancer survivor, Dr. Lee touches on issues both global and deeply personal: the rise of artificial intelligence, the intertwined fates of the places that he's called home, and his own evolution from a workaholic to a more loving father, husband, and human being.
Dr. Lee's background in technology and business expertise crystallized how AI technologies are developing in both China and the United States, while his experience in in different cultures showed him the value and need for mutual understanding across national borders. AI Superpowers offers a clear-eyed view of our global AI future, so that we as individuals and as a society can move forward.
Dr. Lee's background has trained him to approach AI problems and solutions differently than others. Because he worked on turning cutting-edge AI technologies into useful products, and as a venture capitalist he funded and helped build AI startups, Dr. Lee can see how AI forms two distinct threats to jobs: one-to-one replacements and ground-up disruptions. He also sees where AI can help society, by creating new ways of efficiency in medical treatments or transportation. He is better equipped than anyone to offer a clear-eyed view of culture and society in AI in the U.S. and China, and how we can use AI to our benefit, even as its potential to disrupt the economy remains a real possibility.
Dr. Kai-Fu Lee moved to the U.S. from China when he was 11, attending middle school and high school in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He studied computer science at Columbia University in New York and later got his PhD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, where as his thesis he developed the world's first speaker-independent, continuous speech recognition system. He went on to become one of the world's early experts in artificial intelligence. Dr. Lee later worked as an executive, first at Apple, then SGI, Microsoft, and then served as founding president of Google China, where as one of the most prominent figures in the Chinese internet sector, he was the founding president of Google China. Dr. Lee helped establish Sinovation Ventures, a Chinese early-stage ventures firm, with a presence in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Silicon Valley.