mrtns blog


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AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order

10 Jun 2019 - mrtn

I just finished reading AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order. The Author Kai-Fu Lee paints a picture, what Chinas role, perspective and history with AI. It was a pretty interesting read and a look into an area of computer science that I don’t follow as close as others.

It was extremely fascinating, seeing how China approaches innovation in general and especially Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning. A book about technology and innovation in China is not complete without talking about WeChat, Alibaba, Tencent and everything that happens on- and offline in the land of the rising sun.

The biggest take away of that book for me is, that China is superiour in many regards to the US and the rest of the world - and that is the free flow and easy access to huge amounts of data. Also known as big data - and in china, that is really big. With the rise of WeChat as the Mega-App that is omnipresent in the peoples lives, huge amounts of data have been collected, labeled and correlated. The App is basically everywhere and enables users to order food, discuss politics and science and pay the ticket for public transport - all without leaving the app.

What separates chinese startups from the usual suspects out of the silicon valley, is their willingness to control the whole value chain - not only the detached digital part of it. Online to Offline - O2O - is the key to success here.

I’m really curious, how the future for AI will look like - and wether or not china will be the leader in that space.