Kai-Fu Lee, the CEO of Sinovation Ventures and former president of Google China, talks with Recode's Kara Swisher about his new book, "AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order."

In this episode:

  • 00:55 - Lee's background & Google China
  • 03:32 - Why he left Google
  • 05:41 - Why American companies struggled to compete in China
  • 09:46 - It's not all because of the government
  • 12:23 - Investing in artificial intelligence
  • 18:42 - What "AI Superpowers" means
  • 21:15 - Data and privacy in China vs. the West
  • 25:17 - Where AI is going next
  • 30:17 - How Lee thinks about American tech companies
  • 33:09 - The impact of AI on jobs
  • 40:10 - The political implications of those job changes
  • 43:30 - The responsibilities of tech creators and investors
United States


00:00:00Today's show is brought to you by audi the electric car has always raised questions cannot contend with the elements and what's the range with high speed charging long range capabilities and quattro all wheel drive The fully electric audi e tron could be the answer Visit howdy yusa Dot
00:00:15com slash e tronto Learn mohr and stay informed I am care swisher editor at large of recode you may know me as a super advanced a i that is displacing the jobs of twenty other tech journalists in san francisco but in my spare time i talk tech and
00:00:31you're listening to rico decode from the box media podcast network today in the red chair is someone i've known for a long time kaif uli the ceo of cina vacation ventures and former president of google china he's also the author of a very important new book about artificial
00:00:45intelligence called aye aye superpowers china silicon valley and the new world order kaifu welcome to rico decode thank you caryl or a i should i say so there's lots of things i want to talk about with you but let's get people up to speed on who you are
00:00:59i've known you for a long time and i remember when you were hired and get wrote a story in the journal at the time you were hired so talk a little about your background so people get a sense of where you've come from sure i grew up in
00:01:10the us columbia carnegie mellon phd and then i ran multimedia and apple followed by sg i microsoft when i started microsoft research in asia right back at the headquarters worked for five years in redmond and then i went to start google china in two thousand five right to
00:01:30talk about how you got there so because you had obviously very storied career he had a lot of great spots a multimedia apple was a critical job that was back in the nineteen nineties or in the nineties nineteen ninety six yeah which was their recovery period really when
00:01:44there are difficult period well yeah kind of s o u and had long time silicon valley why did you do china for google you went over there and what year in two thousand five two thousand five which is early and in google's when they were involved in china
00:01:58it was thie initial entrance right But i was at microsoft research china in ninety eight so that gave me the experience sure and that's presumably why google tapped me and what was your goal there to do what was at the time when they were entering and then they
00:02:12exited but talk about your goal what was the goal for google there where the goal was to build up a local presence when this much market shares we could and stay true to the corporate values right and all three of which we accomplished right and you located servers
00:02:27outside of china there are all kinds of different things you did can you talk a little about that because it's going to be relevant to what we're talking about Letter sure Well well the chinese laws required some servers to be present in china so we have that the
00:02:39majority of the servers were outside and then there were certain commitments that google made in order to do censorship and be present in china right things like providing an explanation whenever something was removed right at the bottom of the bottom and also providing an instance research and also
00:03:01not store personal information in china right which they didn't they didn't want people to register essentially fest right Correct in one of the interesting parts was putting that saying this was if someone was doing a search at the bottom saying things were left out of this search due
00:03:15to the laws of china correct something like this and actually all search engines ended up doing that right right And it was because the idea was that you didn't pretend that you weren't censoring things correct that was the idea that was the idea no it was a chinese
00:03:27government here google idea both were okay with it but they're okay with it now So you were there until how long for four years four years that were you there during the pullout or no i left three months before that and i had no idea that you didn't
00:03:42really know we weren't aware of that Well you saw the later reports things they saw things in november and decided to leave in december right there's meddling by the chinese government that was thie allegations allegations on and i left earlier in the in september Why did you do
00:03:59that Well i saw that the entire entrepreneurial landscape was just burgeoning on i lost all of my young super smart staff they were all into start ups all doing very well vc industry was starting those chinese internet market as an independent market which really was right so it
00:04:20was an exciting thing i thought i want to be a part of you wanted to escape to i didn't quite used the word this case but you could google it was a big job running google china it was a tremendous opportunity but also frustrating at times i compare
00:04:35that was having the freedom to invest in companies and help young entrepreneurs right that's seen more fun so let's set the table of them because before that china wasn't seen as thie entrepreneurial engine that it is today correct or just start that was right around when it was
00:04:51really something i think that's a reasonable to say actually china's entrepreneurial energy started in the late nineties with the portals right and then later the search engine ali baba were launched in the early two thousand initially they were thought of his copies correct that was the that was
00:05:07the generalized feeling that they copied us and not the stadium at that time that time at that time and so there was an ali baba that was like an amazon there was there was everything that was in there was a goodbye do that was like a google and
00:05:22various things like that and many people had felt that that was the way it was going to be for china that we're going too fast followers essentially i think that's on the assumption because in silicon valley you know copying is frowned upon and view that once you copy
00:05:36always copy right but i think those turned out to be wrong assumptions yeah absolutely and then at the same time silicon valley companies wearing troubles and we're operating in china can you talk about why that was ebay had a disastrous run yahoo was only successful because it bought
00:05:52a chinese come here it had a stake in a chinese company i think the core reasons are numerous first thie us have atwater's thought of china as just another market so just take the product should work it worked in europe in japan should work in china china was
00:06:09substantially different Secondly some of the companies wanted to make money too early and too soon and i think thirdly the heads of these organizations generally slating china obviously there were exceptions but generally speaking we're no match for the local entrepreneurs right The entrepreneur's you know they only eighty
00:06:28percent of the company this was their one thing in their life was going to make or break their whole career and future they work twelve hours a day seven days a week they did whatever it took to win and then the multinationals had a normal professional lifestyle and
00:06:45we're going toe yeah business to a standard way doing the corporate way don't offend the headquarter do what headquarter wanted and don't contradict the headquarters and hopefully get a promotion back to the headquarters in three years and that mentality just had no chance of success so talk about
00:07:05why the chinese market was different cause they did treat it they had been had success going into europe or germany or wherever in those ways what was the difference of the market whether there's a difference then and difference now the difference now there's even more dramatic is almost
00:07:18like a parallel universe so all the practices and assumptions you have in the us will fail for example if you were a nap you would expect to promote using facebook snap and so on in the u s within china none of those works the u s is very
00:07:35well segmented companies with google amazon facebook even each having clearly what they did there was a separate yeah there lately lay of the land in peace in china everybody was competing with everyone no one had any market for sure and you had to know the dynamics of what
00:07:55was happening and make the right bets for example in alibaba had the entire payment that would seem like a phenomenal choke point but all of a sudden in one year tencent took almost half of that away from them So it's what i call in my book gladiatorial kind
00:08:13of competition so if you want to play in that game first you have to be a gladiator right then you have to know how the work of the other gladiators her and read the tea leaves on who's going to win right things changed so much you can't treat
00:08:26it like it's a u s like a us market it's like its own its own market rather than a subsidiary market that's red and also another huge difference is the chinese companies go heavy right the american companies like lightwave tech platforms chinese companies are willing to hire six
00:08:44hundred thousand people to lower the cost of something for example you know compared with yelp open table or very light platforms made twenty china they brought in six hundred thousand people to ensure the delivery of a take out order is goes down to something like seventy cents per
00:09:03delivery and that completely changed the way chinese people eat so that led to a very different model than what open table and yelp did those companies left the restaurant industry along mate one basically disrupted the restaurant offline in this right so how there's an american company learned to
00:09:24play in that kind of tough tenacious disrupting market that left nothing alone and go to any length in other words and competition can be very tough dealing with you know challenges in the press and also users who are unhappy and false rumors being spread and those are all
00:09:45part of doing business in china and what about the government well that's what they always point to the government's not going to let us succeed here yeah well the government actually place i think at this point very modest part of difficulty of american companies going obviously some companies
00:10:03need to get a license right but as we can see google's now got away more license it seems facebook is trying maybe yeah and i think you know it's not impossible to get a license but my question is even if you get the license can an american company
00:10:20really learn to thrive in that environment that environment now when i went as google the environment wasn't that tough in tenacious and i was i would say a little different from the typical multi national leader i disagree with headquarters at times on dh made decisions that i thought
00:10:39was good for the company and we had our arguments and then we had some success we gain market share from nine percent twenty four percent on da on the way to become a billion dollars subsidiary so the numbers we're going the direct right direction and i thought i
00:10:56was going to be three only one who may have a chance to have a least a significant minority share and then after google uber i think how the chest i think you know travis and his team were tenacious also and that fit the chinese spirit but ultimately dealing
00:11:14with all the local issues these right and i'm still losing to deep right right when they say the government is that the government is one of the arguments that silicon valley companies make is that the government advantages chinese companies how would you answer that i think that's very
00:11:27minimal because there are obviously licences they can grant or not grant right beyond that what china's part of w t o i think at this point this also i don't really see anything that they have done to in the recent ten years that would show this i think
00:11:50i guess you could argue that american companies weren't going to succeed anyway so they don't have to do anything but in any case i think the main issue today was how they is it's just that it's too hard it's too hard on dh i would also say that
00:12:06chinese company coming to america would be equally hard right It doesn't it's just that a two ecosystems are so different they're bound to continue to live in their independent parallel universes all right let's get to a i in your book you talk about the premise of your book
00:12:22what you were trying to get it but since then you've been investing give some examples of what you've been investing it your venture company ok well where we managed a total about two billion dollars and is our largest pro folio about a third or so is in the
00:12:37eye when did you start doing that Investing four years ago i think most of china caught the eye fever about two years ago so we were ahead because we saw deep learning i was going to start making headways s o we have about forty five investments in a
00:12:52i and we have five unicorns that are totally value that about twenty three billion dollars so so what were you looking for Why were you ahead of the curve on that well we saw for example deep learning was going to make a big difference we were very big
00:13:10on deep learning computer vision very early on and then we we were among the first to go into autonomous vehicles we saw that a i for finance was going to be a big segment and then hardware and semiconductors was going to be an important area for china so
00:13:29those were our fundamental bets and the makeup of the five unicorns that we explain why though i want you to give me a deeper so why did you think that was the plan to make okay so deep learning was the single biggest breakthrough in a i that made
00:13:43a machine learning possible are huge amounts of data with minimal human intervention and it didn't need humans to tell features it would discover them as long as there was enough data and china had so much data so there's going to be somewhere is going to tip on we
00:14:01also does all that it's the people in computer vision that invented deep learning so it's likely that computer vision would be the first area to tip not speech recognition or something else so we made big bats in that area the semiconductors what we saw the video pricing and
00:14:20we knew that the chinese companies would want alternatives on dh there are ways well they sell the same product for a very high prices for display versus i and the that high level of margin i think leaves room for local competition to compete within video right not i
00:14:40think it's hard to compete completely because the video's a powerful company but if you take one segment of the compute let's say the inference not the training or make it cheap in cellphones devices twice where china strong so that where those were our investments in semiconductors in a
00:15:00i acceleration autonomous vehicles i think was an area there was a large number of people who decided to bet in the space and we found a couple of really really good teams and we actually made for investments in autonomous vehicles not counting the sensors on i continue the
00:15:20thing that will be the largest disruption might take a little bit of time right so we make for very good investments one of which has become a unicorn and the speed at which progress is made in that space is phenomenal I think two years ago three of the
00:15:35four company started and one could say they were eight years behind google right today i think they're about two years is a very that the next two years maybe harder but they've caught in two years they called up six years right and then finance is the lowest hanging
00:15:54fruit because finance is a numbers game and if a is an object to function that optimizes profitability lowers costs improves margin for longs credit card frauds banks insurance companies that seem like a no brainer because you didn't have warehouses manufacturing plant you plug in the algorithm and money
00:16:15comes out you're printing money so we back the couple of companies in that all right we're here talking with kaifu li he is an investor in chinese the ceo of cina vacation ventures his new book is called a i superpowers and we get back we're gonna talk more
00:16:27about what that means and now we have a special advertiser segment brought to you by audi here's kari byron who found out how an electric vehicle changed one man's life hello my name is kari byron i'm a former mythbuster and seeker of truth so i'm always very curious
00:16:43about new technology today i'm going to talk to spend t's in who claims his life is changed for the better after purchasing an electric vehicle then you're a self proclaimed e v evangelist let is that exactly feel like i've got this wonderful gift that i want to give
00:17:00the world and that's driving electric so why am i so keen on driving electric one it's way more convenient i don't have to go to gas stations anymore to zero tailpipes no tailpipes alright spends so what's the maintenance like on one of those electric vehicles it's pretty much
00:17:18windshield wipers and when she'll float if you look at the number of parts there's none on the order a couple thousand moving parts on gasoline car and on tv there's on the order of less than one hundred so which one is going to break down first how many
00:17:34evey converts do you think you're responsible for well i'm famous for grabbing the guy with the muscle car parked beside our evey and made him drive ar e v around the block and he said on tv is so in my future because he loved the instantaneous torque and
00:17:52the way it handled well there it is i've seen the light toe learn more about going electric without e check out audi yusa dot com slash e tron that's audi u s a dot com slash e t r o n oh thanks tow out e e tron for
00:18:12sponsoring this episode of rico decode and for supporting the box media podcast network we're here with kaifu li he is the ceo of cina vacation ventures he also ran china for google for many years and worked for a number of other big tech companies in the us his
00:18:28new book is called a i superpowers and then the bottom part is china silicon valley and a new world order talk about what you mean by superpowers you've done investments you talked about your investments in the area and you did it early and often talk about what you
00:18:42mean by superpowers and why that's important yeah actually meant three things primarily i meant china and us will be by far the world's a superpower because they'll kill possess the greatest value cos people data on nypd i also mean the companies such as google facebook amazon alibaba tencent's
00:19:05will be super powers because they started early and they benefit from the virtuous cycle of a i and the third meaning is that a itself is a superpower in that it will create a wealth generation engine that we've never seen but also potentially a job displacement engine that
00:19:28we have to deal with yeah so talk about the first one of the things that a lot of people have been talking a lot of people about is this idea of china moving forward rather quickly in a well past the u s a lot of time to do
00:19:39with data someone was asked me why google's going to china and that i asked someone that they said data that's it data is the problem they don't have enough china has more and with some of that we'll talk about this surveillance and facial recognition things where they just
00:19:53have data coming out of their eyeballs in china essentially comparatively so talk about that competition because a lot of people feel the u s is going toe decline in that area area pretty quickly because of the lack of data yeah so i clearly believe in the power of
00:20:09data because deep learning simply works was more data you take any three of four variants to the algorithm one thing for sure is you pump a lot more day that it works better right that's the primary reason that speech recognition vision and others have improved a lot and
00:20:24china has so much more data not just in terms of number of people and market for example china's fully connected with mobile payment so seven hundred million people most of chinese population can pay each other with two buttons on the phone with almost no commission and as little
00:20:43as fifteen cents and that level of universality of transaction we'll create so much data that can be used by tense in an alibaba for law in for for mining insides targeting and so on but can also be used by individual merchants or apse who have transactions if you
00:21:03had the retail store before you had faceless people who bought stuff right now you know who bought one and you can suddenly do much better inventory prediction sales forecast and so on so that's just one example but if you move forward to you know china has ten times
00:21:20more takeout in the us for food delivery has three hundred times more in shared bicycle rides it has i think four times more in share car rides and all these standard numbers are larger more than the ratio of the internet population simply because thie usage of mobile was
00:21:43stronger more sticky in china but it's also going off line because a number of health clinics and autonomous stores autonomous fast food shopping malls of course airports train stations are hooked up with all kinds of sensors and the sensors might track motion heat cameras microphones and these world
00:22:10sends data lots of data yeah they main yeah they'll send up data not raw data that data that's relevant right such as a user picked up this product and frowned and didn't buy well people have there's more nefarious uses of that data obviously but one of the things
00:22:27that they were talking about is that in this country they wouldn't the allowance of sensors and facial recognition is going to see a much rougher road because of consent all kinds of things where that's not the case in china and so they can suck up so much data
00:22:40about people's movements their faces their activities that they couldn't do here that companies like google and others are hindered most people feel it's a good thing that they're hindered talk about that well i think the chinese users have a stronger willingness to exchange the capture of certain data
00:23:02if in return there is value to be provided for example greater security lower crime raids or possibly convenience i do think the chinese people care about privacy there are people raising awareness but i think at the current level of deployment people accept the tradeoff that is being offered
00:23:24and i think the worries about the government observing people is well founded correct or not i think that's a very popular feeling in the west yes and which would hinder the west from collecting data in a good way if people in the west think that well i think
00:23:46the people in the west would generally not adopt the white spread sensors used by government therefore also thie private companies would have a hard time putting it yes stores right i don't know how amazon go is perceived because they have those cameras yes they do not people are
00:24:07wary of it people wary of nest people are wary of all the different products that they are trying to insert in the home and everywhere else and there's always some complain about yeah well i i think there's also a lot of good that could come from this deployment
00:24:21alright talk about that well in hospitals can prevent six people elderly people from falling down you can call alarms for them crime rate we've talked about autonomous stores you can essentially turn them off line store into an online store by capturing user preferences on dh it's schools I
00:24:41think parents and china are likely to give consent for cameras at school not for surveillance but for giving teachers feedback where how to improve the kid's performance where they might be getting lost so hospitals clinics and elderly homes and so on so they are applications i think the
00:25:05west would find useful as well but i think those would be would have a hard time giving launched here right in the mentality is definitely different which i think it depends on what you think about it So talk a little bit about where i's going And so here
00:25:21you have all these major investments you've made billions of dollars investments in this area has had many others were the trends going in a i well we see four waves of ai ai all really just had a very beginnings oneness using i an internet thie others using it
00:25:38in businesses so for business intelligence banks insurance companies and basically all corporations toe other mate the middle person out of the system the third level third wave we think is adding eyes in years but we were just talking about the sensors and we think that will create a
00:25:56lot of new applications that didn't exist before right because previously those day the visual data were discarded they became transient but now they could be captured and something could be done you know smart cities and so on and then lastly we see autonomous ai ai and that is
00:26:13when a i get arms and legs they mean that maybe maybe wheels but they can move around manipulate in factories manufacturing in farms for picking fruits in commercial applications like washing washing dishes and also eventually in the home for education toys and also eventually there will be housework
00:26:37robots of all of these will happen along with autonomous vehicles that will begin in non public roads than going into highways and then going into all the roads and then going from l three to al for and that will lead to another wave of changes so we see
00:26:55great investment opportunities in all four waves on no doubt there will be a fifth sixth seventh wave which we just don't know what they are and what are you thinking that might be well i think a delegation interface with a smart assistant that has an infinite memory to
00:27:10enhance us you know without any of this hardware intrusion but niceness and argumentation of our physical limitation ok that could be that means not something remember google had the eyeball thing and your thing not that that it would be part of your uh using the black mirror so
00:27:30that yeah yeah oh yeah yeah the eyes being that one that you remembers everything he saw in her right index it obviously that has also dystopian that worrisome outcome i think i took it out at the end yes but but it may not be that his dash e
00:27:44ation but it's a i mean we people are limited in our ability to remember that's our faulty ist part of our brain right and computers air perfect was just saying that some of the other day something i wanted to i wish i could have remembered this my son
00:27:58was asking me about it is something and i was like i just don't remember it happens all the time i have a vague memory of it or or if at all if it's the correct memory or if it's not the correct memory it was really it was an
00:28:09interesting discussion i end up having with my son on beyond that well beyond that whether we believe in a g i general aye aye or not i'm in the camp that feels that's very distant many decades of doing that for what a g i means having a i
00:28:26be like humans have the common sense cross domain ability to reason and plan and the one step further maybe even with self awareness and emotions i feels i borg's cyber threats so some people like ray kurzweil project that's coming in two thousand twenty nine it's no i think
00:28:47not i think the number of breakthroughs that will be needed would be probably another dozen deep learning level breakthrough right and if you look at the last sixty years we've had one deep learning level breakthrough So when will the twelve come Maybe seven hundred twenty someone's you're talking
00:29:04about all these different aye aye waves which give me time frames on a lot of them on the first for the first three have already happened internet a eyes all around this business a i is being implemented but requires a large amount of data so it's going to
00:29:19be you know the large banks that start and so on thie visual is i think starting in china less so in the us thie spoken is happening in both china us amazon lexa is a perfect example you're chinese equivalent of that autonomous vehicles i think are already happening
00:29:40in non public roads shot holes forklifts smart robots kiva inside the amazon and the chinese secret he was people never pit and i pay a lot of attention akiva sure i absolutely when they bought that i was like oh well that's an interesting change and i think the
00:29:57natural next step is to have tto another robot pick out one hundred percent one hundred percent i was at the amazon warehouse the in canton they were using the kiva robots and there was a guy the keeper of would bring over this stuff and then the guy would
00:30:11pick it out and i said you're finished and he's like what i did i wouldn't want to explain what's about to happen to you before you get to the issue of work how do you look at us cos right now having worked for call them what do you
00:30:23think where they are Well i i think thie silicon valley style of entrepreneurship is still the world's leading way of building companies is vision driven focused on tech tends to go deeply to solve problems and has strong culture and value that makes them are built to last so
00:30:46i have a lot of respect for all the companies that work for i also think china is emerging for the kind of a new way to build companies of running as fast as you can always assume someone's going toe eat your lunch and so you better eat theirs
00:31:01first and it's a very scrappy tenacious competition that used winner take on valley correct or not it is it wasn't did you not think we're too soft right i think there were days when microsoft was appointed and consider that way and then and then microsoft became kinder and
00:31:20gentler right right yeah they had teo they were forced into a but government yeah was that a bad thing i think is not good or bad it's just different because china is such a big market and there's so much capital going in and the people who have made
00:31:34the right investments have made so much money and the market kept growing at least up until now all those things incentivize thiss behavior also keep in mind in shopping about forty years ago said he will changed economic system by letting some people get rich first so there is
00:31:52a rush for the chinese in the last forty years to be among the first because otherwise you may not be among those right right right so i think all of those pointed is almost a system cho constructed with just the right elements right and that's what in the
00:32:09last ten years turned it from a copycat rightto an innovative r r us company he was techniques now too soft too rich have too many private planes i don't think that's the issue that maybe maybe i'm maybe that's an issue i think the chinese tyco's by just as
00:32:26many private jets yeah but let's say we found an internet population in mars and we're going to land the two top entrepreneurs in silicon valley and to top from china and let them compete to see who can win the martians i would bet on the side of the
00:32:44chinese entrepreneurs because because they're faster more tenacious more understanding of user needs and willing to build products for user needs rather than what steve jobs says you know i look in the mirror and that's my user in just right right that's his usual that's really interesting brilliant but
00:33:00it's hard but you know the khumbu chav from the silicon valley entrepreneurs would be better on the various foods and things like that so let's talk about the impact of a i on jobs because i think this is something that american companies are tech companies are facing this
00:33:16idea that what they're doing right now they're in the midst of did they kill democracy and they were just having hearings for example were just listening to but one of the things has been this discussion of the future of work right so what is a i mean for
00:33:29that from your perspective why i think there are a lot of simple simple kind of one sentence answers none of which i think are right some people said it's all purely ah human amplifier some people said oh it's just going to make us better others said no it's
00:33:47going to take all the jobs away i think it'll be different depends on what jobs you have if we look at what i cannot do there really two main things one is creative jobs jobs like yours jobs like scientists storytellers you know artists and so on and the
00:34:04other are the compact agin it people who really had created human to human connection right trust until they get the robot eyes right and then that will well i think the robots will always mess up and when robots mess up their mess a badly i think we should
00:34:20put robotic things in people and then not what instead of making robots try to be like people we should make people try to be like two big thought actually just thinking about it you know think about it we spend all their time trying to get a robot to
00:34:33open the door and everyone goes wow it opened your yeah why bother he's put robotic things in people that's right my favorite example is elderly care all these people building robots take care old people way we should pay a cake of take out our parents can't get people
00:34:49and if we don't then we should hire person to none of our parents want to be taken care of by a robot so we should i agree with you i get what i'm saying put robotic things in the caregivers and it's okay so idea arsu genius for you
00:35:03to do you know i get it i get it so you want the human caregiver but maybe with super strong arms act i can prove it yeah instead of spending our time trying to get a robot to open the door come on why bother we know a man
00:35:15a man or a woman can open a door so that's already solved so in any case okay so now we get eyes and ears and things like that next trick lifting and ecto skeletons and things oh i see i see right so coming back to my thoughts so
00:35:30the human connection is hard so what will happen so we make a quadrant of four types of jobs i think the lower left quadrant is the low compassion low empathy low creativity all those jobs will be taken by a named those jobs those air oh beginning with your
00:35:48factory jobs starting with inspection going into assembly starting with dishwashing going into flipping hamburgers and simple something robot hamburger place here in san francisco right absolutely creator and we we invested in the chinese noodle robot too okay and then there are also white collar jobs that will be
00:36:09replaced so where sectors that that statement though that's in the same sector you know basically traders are there already gone right and then a city named said they're going to remove ten thousand of their operational staff and even before that tele sales telemarketing customer wraps the job's currently
00:36:28all source to india and the current manufacturing jobs are all sorts of china both sets of those will be challenged i would argue why color was first because that's software only right so that's a lower left came those jobs lawyers possible doctors and not not yet know the
00:36:44lower left corner those air more the inspection assembly line telemarketing customer service those air in danger because they were low human touch and low creativity and data rich day the rich exactly and the routine in nature and then the upper upper left quadrant would be lower creativity but
00:37:05lots of compassion i think those jobs will flourish and in fact i think migration needs to go from lower left to upper left so for example the doctor's job will probably change because the medical medical diagnosis will become very very good right and they throw a i and
00:37:26then the doctor is more of a human connector and then maybe just four years of college is enough maybe in there's practitioners can become doctors maybe there's more training about how to comfort and how to tease out from the patient What are you really feeling What is diagnostics
00:37:43should be done by like radiology for anything i use always use the radio like that you don't need a radiologist they're not accurate compared to this really i that's right Well it takes time but eventually they will be displaced in terms of all of diagnostics eventually take twenty
00:37:59thirty years but one segment at the time so doctors can become this compassion the profession on we might have ten times more doc utters because the cost of medical care will go down Poor people can access it and then you can still have a really super experts that
00:38:16you pay a lot of money for but most healthcare so more doctors could be employed but not the same kind of doctors today the same could be applied to many other areas like professionals in the wealth planners teachers in particular you probably got that what i think a
00:38:33lot of what teachers do our routine so grating homeworks grading exams giving his exams giving the same lecture and then again again those can be done by eye or book on what the teacher should do is one on one targeted finding out what your passion is guiding you
00:38:51coaching you become your mentor for life and that could be one toe one that could be homeschooling that could be a public school but one to one ratio so teacher numbers could blossom so i and also i think teacher and doctors are more require a lot of training
00:39:08there will be other less trained jobs for example elderly care we're going to have a lot more older people people over eighty requires five times as much care and we want people to take care of them and elderly here is a very difficult to fill job because it's
00:39:23not paid well nor does it have a high social status and i think those need to be changed so that when people come off the assembly line and telemarketing jobs they could move into either an elderly care type of a job or a teacher a type of a
00:39:40job depending on their aptitude and then the right side are the creative jobs so that's a sigh of relief we're okay the creative jobs without too much compassion empathy needed they can use a i as a tool scientists can find more drugs with a i filtering for them
00:39:58and their power will be amplified symbiotic combination and then the upper rights will be high empathy and high creativity and those are what will make humans shine what does that mean politically and for the country's these countries including china is there's a lot of you know wrote manufacturing
00:40:18jobs there there's a lot and you throw you've thrown people at it and that which is why it's lower cost and which is why apple and others have moved manufacturing there what happens because there is a social crisis that can result in this i think this bigger crisis
00:40:31social more than financial because it's not just a question of losing a job and getting some social welfare you b i to pay for you it's that people have attached the meaning of their lives to the work right and when the work is gone there's so is the
00:40:48meaning so i think it's imperative that governments start to understand how to redistribute the money so that there is enough money to take care of this set of people who need to make a transition and then there needs to be re training and the incentives put in place
00:41:08so the migration can happen do you think government has that capability i don't i think you don't know how facebook works i think very few governments have that capability i think we can start with something small for example rather than you give everybody a tax break give it
00:41:26to those ho home school give it to those who are doing volunteer work give it to those who take early retirement but put their time in a socially meaningful so they can they can be smaller steps vocational training should change we should have fewer auto mechanics courses but
00:41:45maybe more plumber of courses because plumber is not a job that robots can do so way already know which jobs are going to be on the decline so the vocational schools should follow thiss projection of job increase or decrease based on information so those are things that can't
00:42:03be done by any government i think potentially governments like china i may be able to make bigger steps was distribution troll over chinese government has historically being effective in pushing one segment toe another the chinese agricultural to manufacturing shift was done faster with a lot of chaos but
00:42:26still more effectively than probably any other country so there might be how do you assess that uses commitment is i don't think there's any i don't even i don't i don't think the current administration acknowledges that this is happening i'm seeing some top officials say the aye aye
00:42:44job displacements fifty years away yeah that would be worry something that was the treasury secretary that was that was the treasury secretary buddies he's an imbecile so what do you do then what does that bring again the us behind again because we'll be losing these jobs because that's
00:43:00the way it's going to go without any preparation for the future well my guess is that when there will be some profession that suddenly disrupted and millions of people are out of their jobs and then that will wake up the government which wes i don't know but possibly
00:43:19the danger is it might be one of the outsource jobs so that it's not the pain is in india not china right right right absolutely so finishing up let's talk a little bit about what that means for the creators of these technologies do you have a responsibility as
00:43:35someone who funds thumb to figure that part out i think i do and all of us tried to contribute differently there are those who advocated you be i e i do not universal basic income yes why is that i do not because i think that doesn't solve the
00:43:50meaning problem i think you're just giving money people to money as a anesthesia for pains everywhere and doesn't get him over that really true problem and then all of us are thinking of ideas and that's good and i think all of us are willing to contribute whether it's
00:44:09by taxation or by donation or by foundations and i think those of us in investments we could look more at investment that create jobs still make money but maybe not as much as they are companies so i think it's imperative for all of us to do what we
00:44:25can without expecting the government to do it all which is why i wrote this book so that the awareness would be there but the call to action is up to the end officials of the individual companies do you think they have that commitment I'm optimistic i'm optimist they
00:44:42do because in silicon valley i think all the talks about you b i suggest the people are thinking you want to do something yeah whether we think that one will work or not it's still very respectable thank they are thinking i had and when you look forward twenty
00:44:59years what are the jobs you think will be the most important I think the creative jobs will be the most important i think a lot of people who could have been creative we're stifled over the last hundred years because they maybe they weren't the highest paying jobs they
00:45:21were forced into some relatively more routine job that paid more but i think now we can really have a chance to release our potential in creativity and i think the empathetic jobs human jobs will also be important because that's the only job type that can absorb the eggs
00:45:41of this and the displacement that won't happen in the routine jobs yeah last question on our agenda spot if you had to pick one us company in one chinese company that you find a large one or a small one we'll do each of those that you're most impressed
00:45:55with right now what would they be most impressed us company would be alphabet google mostly because if it's aspiration because that it tries to stick with his values and we may or may not agree with it but that tries to do that and also because of the phenomenal
00:46:13creativity from the company and their most important part way mo what cloud i think way most most interesting to me but i think a lot of the new health care initiatives are interesting as well the chinese company would be a tie between alibaba and tencent i think ali
00:46:31baba has demonstrated that the company can grow so big and still top level people feel empowered like they own the company and that kind of cultural strength will probably give it legs to go to the next level i don't see that in other companies alphabet obviously is trying
00:46:55to do that with a different segments but ali baba if you really go in each of the twenty five ceos really feels like a ceo on there's still working like start up so they maintain the culture and that's expandable that doesn't fall apart with size i also respect
00:47:12ten cent a great deal because they're one of the very few companies that could build a product to disrupt itself they had q q which is the dominant messenger and then they allowed which had to be built on to disrupt q q q q didn't die you kind
00:47:29of became the snapshot of china right appealing to the younger generation so a company that can tolerate two camps to compete and both actually continue to be successful that really really rare to see what about startup they find there are many great start ups we fund the v
00:47:50i p kid which is an aspirational education company that connects american english teachers to chinese students it's essentially the uber for education and when everyone thinks that you kenshin is not in the creating the corn's the happy kid has really proved them wrong and now they're using technology
00:48:11and a i they're also using pro bono to give the english teacher such has to give some hours to teach poor kids in the group and i think is a company that thing's far ahead and more likely to disrupt education than thie some of the american education companies
00:48:31that have a big aspiration but it's too difficult to implement absolutely that's really interesting all right this has been fascinating kaifu thank you so much for talking come chi pu lease book is called a i superpowers china silicon valley and the new world order and it's available now
00:48:46if you enjoy this interview as much as i did be sure it's described and leave us a review on apple podcast you can also find more episodes of rico decode on spotify google podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcast he didn't like this interview i again do
00:48:58not care you khun just say if you just want to say hi tweeted me i'ma cara swisher on twitter now you're done with this go check out our latest episode of recode media you confined that show wherever you found this one thanks for listening to this episode of
00:49:10reto deco thanks to our editor joel robbie and our producer eric johnson I'll be back here on wednesday tune and then today's show is brought to you by audi despite all this technology there's a lot the all new audi e tron doesn't offer For example it has no
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