- “So it was surprising to read an entire chapter about this dilemma comparing China and the U.S. in Kai-Fu Lee’s book AI Superpowers
- While the book is about AI, Lee is trying to undo American conceptions of Chinese innovation early on in the text. Yes, the country was once a copycat haven, but that has changed as the learnings of copying have led to originality:
- Lee’s ultimate point is that by focusing on markets instead of mission, Chinese startups move far faster and more aggressively to seize opportunities. But that also means that there are can be thousands of startups all targeting the same market at the same time, which forces outside-the-box (read: quite possibly unethical or illegal) behavior in order to compete. ‘For these gladiators, no dirty trick or underhanded maneuver was out of bounds. They deployed tactics that would make Uber founder Travis Kalanick blush.'”
“Advertising in China is at the frontlines in AI adoption and innovation. The majority of ad spend in China is already digital, and AI-based advertising thrives on the massive datasets available in China for number crunching and automation. The key driver for AI in advertising, however, is China’s hyper-competitive ecommerce market, which is more than double the size of its U.S. counterpart. China-based startups use AI to analyze, categorize, and rank influencers, creating an open, blockchain-based, micropayments marketplace that can include everyone on social media. China’s white-hot AI advertising applications can serve as roadmaps and spark ideas in other industries that are just beginning to move through the AI learning curve.”
“President Trump signed an executive order Monday meant to spur the development and regulation of artificial intelligence, technology that many experts believe will define the future of everything from consumer products to health care to warfare.
A.I. experts across industry, academia and government have long called on the Trump administration to make the development of artificial intelligence a major priority. Last spring, worried that the United States was not keeping pace with China and other countries, Jim Mattis, then the defense secretary, sent a memo to the White House imploring the president to create a national strategy on A.I.
In July 2017, Chinese unveiled a plan to become the world leader in A.I., aiming to create an industry worth $150 billion to its economy by 2030, and two Chinese cities promised to invest $7 billion in the effort. Other governments, too, began making large investments, including South Korea, Britain, France and Canada.”
- “In the view of Mr. Pailhès and others, China is a government-controlled surveillance state. In the American model, coming from Silicon Valley in California, a handful of internet companies become big winners and society is treated as a data-generating resource to be strip mined.
- The era of moving fast and breaking everything is coming to a close,” said R. David Edelman, an adviser in the Obama administration and the director of the project on technology, policy and national security at M.I.T.
- One specific policy issue dominated all others: the collection, handling and use of data.”
Additionally, Alibaba’s high-tech food/grocery retail store concept, known as Hema, is expanding quickly. Exhibit 1. These outlets serve as walk-in restaurants, food and grocery purchase points, and warehouses for online delivery (within 30 minutes in a three-kilometer radius) – all at the same time. There are now 64 Hema stores in operation, with two being added each week. Already, Hema stores in operation for over 18 months are reporting revenues of RMB50k per square meter, up to five times what traditional offline stores can generate. Sixty percent of Hema’s sales are through the online delivery channel, making the stores far more productive, for far more hours of the day, than pure offline stores.1
“The U.S. used to be the scientific centre of the world, he says, but it’s very clear China is going to take over that leadership role. Things take a long time to happen in North America, he said, because grant systems here are so bureaucratic.
“There’s one aspect that makes it fundamentally different and why they’re going to pull into the lead and build an enormous lead that will be very difficult to overcome, and that is nimbleness,” he said.
“They have lots of money and they’re not afraid to spend it.”
To respond to China’s rocketing AI expertise, Shaeffer warns we must be prepared to make targeted investments and do our best to cope with the superpower’s fiscal flexibility.
“That nimbleness means the U.S. will be eclipsed, Canada is eclipsed,” he said.
‘That gap between China and the rest of the world will grow very quickly.'”
“The US and China are in a race to become the AI superpower of the century. The perceived stakes are high: not only would the victor reap massive economic benefits,but it could also establish a new military edge. As Russian president Vladimir Putin phrased it last year, ‘Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.‘”
“Southeast Asia’s adoption of artificial intelligence has been especially evident in the areas of “high tech and telecom, transportation and logistics, financial services, and healthcare,” according to a 2017 report from management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. But the technology’s applications are not just limited to industries – they can be seen in personal activities such as shopping and television viewing as well.
This reality was showcased at the Startup Runway Demodays in Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City in October by Korean startup accelerator Roa Invention Lab. At the events held in October, eight startups highlighted how they use AI in different products and services.”
“The global retail market is adjusting to China’s rising economic power, and Chinese customers’ desire for AI-enhanced mobile shopping experiences. Singles Day’s spread across the world suggests a new chapter of computer-enhanced shopping experiences is beginning.
Alibaba, the giant Chinese e-retailer that promoted the day as an opportunity – or excuse – for single people to treat themselves with new purchases, has seen its revenues on Nov. 11 grow from US$100 million in 2009 to 250 times that in 2017, $25 billion. And that was only two-thirds of total online sales that day.
Singles Day dwarfs the three other largest online retail mega-events. In 2017, Thanksgiving weekend online sales – including Black Friday and Cyber Monday– totaled $7.3 billion. The third, Amazon’s Prime Day, in 2017 took in $100 million an hour – but Alibaba raked in 10 times that amount on Singles Day that year.”