Kai-Fu Lee on the Future of Artificial Intelligence

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This is a worthwhile interview on Sixty Minutes with Kai-Fu Lee, the leading voice of artificial intelligence in China — at least to those of us outside of China.

There is much to note in this interview, such as the number and size of Chinese artificial intelligence companies, the (apparent) lack of privacy concerns by Chinese citizens and the wealth of data this creates for machine learning, and government applications of the technology. One simultaneously promising and frightening application is emotion recognition in the classroom.

I was heartened to hear Lee’s take on humanity:

Because I believe in the sanctity of our soul. I believe there is a lot of things about us that we don’t understand. I believe there’s a lot of love and compassion that is not explainable in terms of neural networks and computation algorithms. And I currently see no way of solving them. Obviously, unsolved problems have been solved in the past. But it would be irresponsible for me to predict that these will be solved by a certain timeframe.

Facial and emotional recognition; how one man is advancing artificial intelligence

Thanks to Pierre Provost for pointing this out to me over on Google+.


  1. Glad you posted this, as I missed the 60 Minutes piece. Kai-Fu Lee is very impressive. The parts that really stood out were when he said that AI would change the world more than the invention of electricity (!) and the 40% of the world’s jobs would disappear in 15 years. It is hard to imagine what our world will be like in the future. It was encouraging to hear him express his beliefs in the soul and love and compassion. It gives me hope.

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