Entrepreneur, geek, best-selling author, investor… Kai Fu Li wears many hats. He is considered by many as the world’s foremost authority on artificial intelligence. With more than 50 million followers on Weibo and conferences streamed to millions online, people hang on his every word. Born in Taipei, he moved to the US when he was 13, where he went on to earn a PhD in information technology. His illustrious career (he created Microsoft’s research center in Asia and was head of Google China from 2005 to 2009) has given him a front row seat to the emergence of the AI age, which he supports through his Sinovation Ventures investment fund. Far from being content to theorize and strategize about the economic applications of AI, he regularly speaks about the impact of AI on the lives of ordinary people and how it will affect geopolitics in the 21st century. His opinions have been heavily debated: for example, he believes the GDPR will hamstring Europe’s AI industry, that China will soon be the undisputed leader in this domain and that AI will never be capable of empathy or creativity. His latest book, AI Superpowers, was published in September.
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