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

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

AI Superpowers

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

Author: Kai-Fu Lee


Kai-Fu Lee provides an insightful look at the global AI arms race and examines why China is positioned to become a superpower in artificial intelligence. Lee draws from his unique experience working in both the US and China's tech industries to compare their different approaches.

Main Arguments

Lee argues that China has several key advantages in the AI race:

China has a massive population that generates huge amounts of "real world" data which is incredibly valuable for training AI systems. As Lee says, "If data is the new oil, then China is the new Saudi Arabia."

Chinese startups face fewer restrictions around data privacy and intellectual property, allowing them to collect more user data and aggressively copy successful business models.

The Chinese government is taking an active role in prioritizing and funding AI research, in contrast to a more hands-off approach from governments in Western countries.

China has a larger pool of software engineers, and Lee believes their "quantity over quality" approach is well-suited to the brute force needs of deep learning models.

Impact on Jobs

A major section examines how AI will disrupt the future of work. Lee outlines which jobs are most and least at risk, including knowledge workers like radiologists, loan officers and paralegals facing threats of automation.


I found Lee's insights into China's strategy and the global AI race to be illuminating. While some criticisms claim he may overstate elements, the book provides a compelling overview of this important technological revolution. I'd highly recommend AI Superpowers to anyone interested in understanding how artificial intelligence is developing worldwide.

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