Wednesday, September 19, 2018

If You Read Only One Column On Artificial Intelligence This Month...

Back in May we thumbnailed Lee Kai-fu as "Sometimes the competition is just plain intimidating/scary/resistance-is-futile, smart."
Followed by his mini-bio from
"KAI-FU LEE, the founder of the Beijing-based Sinovation Ventures, is ranked #1 in technology in China by Forbes. Educated as a computer scientist at Columbia and Carnegie Mellon, his distinguished career includes working as a research scientist at Apple; Vice President of the Web Products Division at Silicon Graphics; Corporate Vice President at Microsoft and founder of Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing, one of the world’s top research labs; and then Google Corporate President and President of Google Greater China. As an Internet celebrity, he has fifty million+ followers on the Chinese micro-blogging website Weibo. As an author, among his seven bestsellers in the Chinese language, two have sold more than one million copies each. His first book in English is AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order (forthcoming, September)
More after the jump.

Here he is at the South China Morning Post, September 18:
Column by Lee Kai-fu
AI has far-reaching consequences for emerging markets
The US and China are predicted to capture about 70 per cent of the estimated US$15.7 trillion in wealth that AI will generate globally by 2030
Most studies about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on jobs and the economy have focused on developed countries such as the United States and Britain. Through my work as a scientist, technology executive and venture capitalist in the US and China, I have come to believe that the gravest threat AI poses is to emerging economies.

In recent decades, China and India have presented the world with two different models on how countries can climb the development ladder. In the China model, the nation leveraged its large population and low costs to build a base of blue-collar manufacturing. The country then steadily worked its way up the value chain by producing better and more technology-intensive goods.
In the India model, a country combines a large English-speaking population with low costs to become a hub for outsourcing of low-end, white-collar jobs in fields such as software testing and business process outsourcing. If successful, these relatively low-skilled jobs can be slowly upgraded to more advanced white-collar industries.

Both models are based on a country’s cost advantages in the performance of repetitive, non-social and largely uncreative work – whether manual labour in factories or cognitive labour in call centres.

Unfortunately for emerging economies, AI thrives at performing precisely that kind of work.
AI is dramatically accelerating the automation of factories and taking over routine tasks, such as customer service or telemarketing. AI does such jobs cheaper than the low-wage workers of the developing world and, over time, it will do those better.
Robots that examine your iPhone for scratches do not take holidays for Lunar New Year; AI customer-service agents do not demand pay rises.

Without a cost incentive to locate in the developing world, corporations will bring many of these functions back to the countries where they’re based....MUCH MORE
If interested, the Edge piece the mini-bio is from is linked at AI VC: "We Are Here To Create".