Some key themes from Kai-Fu Lee's new book:
"The stakes here are enormous. Artificial intelligence is not a discreet product class, like social media platforms or ride sharing. Rather, it is like electricity: a breakthrough that will revolutionize activities from translating documents to making loan decisions to predicting consumer behavior. Moreover, because AI requires large data sets, there is a winner-takes-all tendency that should alarm China’s competitors. Companies with the most data will have the best products. The best products will attract the largest number of customers, who in turn will generate additional data, reinforcing the front-runners’ advantage. And then there is AI’s military potential: swarms of autonomous killer drones, new forms of cyberwarfare.
Trump’s strategy of clamping down on Chinese intellectual-property theft misses the scope of this challenge. As Lee and other venture capitalists attest, China’s AI acceleration is powered by ferociously gladiatorial entrepreneurs who (as Lee puts it) would send Google employees scurrying for their nap pods. It is also driven by richer data, reflecting the way the Chinese use smartphones for everything from booking a doctor’s appointment to paying for their vegetables. Finally, China’s success is helped along by AI-friendly infrastructure. The government has plans for intelligent highways equipped with sensors and solar panels to guide and power electric self-driving vehicles."Trump is rising to the China challenge in the worst way possible -- The Washington Post