The ending of this book was one of the best I’ve ever read.
It was Kai-Fu’s realization that AI isn’t AS important as his loved ones. Giving and receiving love. This was powerful!
It sparked when he got cancer and had to reflect what really matters most.
He turned himself into an algorithm over his life maximizing creating things and minimizing distractions. To ultimately realize machines are helpful and make life better but they are not everything. They are not human.
“What is your goal in life?” A wise man asked him…
What a complicated and simple question. The answer will also likely evolve over each of our life times but one to keep asking and answering.
2/3 of the book covered the rise of China, Silicon Valley differences and how AI is going to evolve over the years. China’s growth is not by accident and there’s much to learn from any person or country who’s succeeded to the levels they have.
Here’s my highlighted notes from the book:
Most Chinese tech entrepreneurs are at most one generation away from grinding poverty.
Top-down construction (from Chinese Government) runs counter to Silicon Valley orthodoxy. Unprecedented wave of government support for innovation.
Chinese differ in that they’re willing to get one’s hands dirty in the real world vs Silicon Valley. The GRUNT work as differentiating factor.
By 2010 only 1/3 of China’s population had access to the internet. When cheap Smartphones hit the market, waves of ordinary citizens went online for the first time via phones. Mobile first.
When the long-term upside is SO monumental, overpaying in the short term can be the right thing to do. Chinese government wanted the economy to shift from manufacturing-led growth to innovation-led growth, and it wanted to do that in a hurry. Use government money to brute-force a faster transformation.
Utilized guiding funds where government acts as VC with limited upside to spur innovation. Let private sector keep the benefits of success.
By the end of 2017, 65 percent of China’s over 753 million smartphone users had enabled mobile payments. Companies also decided NOT to charge commissions on the vast majority of transfers, none of the mandatory minimum purchases or fifty-cent fees charged by US retailers.
For example, migrant workers selling street food simply let customers scan and send payments over phone.
One Enrico Fermi was worth thousands of less brilliant physicists.
An AI-powered diagnostic tool could turn any medical professional into a super-diagnostician.
AI tools for advice on criminal sentencing, builds consistency and uses data more than opinions on making decisions.
Autonomous robots ALl have one thing in common: they create direct economic value for their owners. Tangible return on investment by doing the jobs of workers whoa re growing either more expensive or harder to find.
Seemingly simple tasks like cleaning a room or babysitting a child are far beyond AI’s current capabilities. AI is great at thinking but robots are bad at moving their fingers.
My sense of self-worth was derived from my achievements at work, ability to create economic value and expand my own influence in the world.
View my own life as a kind of optimization algorithm with a clear goal: my maximize personal influence and minimize anything that doesn’t contribute to that goal.
Found over time what truly brings meaning: sharing love with those around us.
After seeing he had cancer the world dissolved into a whirlpool of despair , one with me at the center. Why did this happen to me? I’d never intentionally hurt anyone…I had done nothing to deserve dying at the age of fifty-three. It wasn’t until I wrote down the names of my wife and daughters I snapped out of egocentric wallowing and self-pity. The REAL tragedy was that I lived So long without generously sharing love with those so close to me.
::What is your goal in life?::
“To maximize my impact and change the world.”
I felt the burning embarrassment that comes when we expose our naked ambitions to others.
We must recognize that there’s nothing greater or more valuable in this world than a simple act of sharing love with others.