Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order” as Want to Read:
AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,703 ratings  ·  257 reviews

Dr. Kai-Fu Lee—one of the world’s most respected experts on AI and China—reveals that China has suddenly caught up to the US at an astonishingly rapid and unexpected pace.  

In AI Superpowers, Kai-fu Lee argues powerfully that because of these unprecedented developments in AI, dramatic changes will be happeni
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published September 2018)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about AI Superpowers, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Radu The book is clearly biased towards China, however, it makes some really good points. Try to get past the praising and you'll catch some good ideas.…moreThe book is clearly biased towards China, however, it makes some really good points. Try to get past the praising and you'll catch some good ideas. It's worth reading in my opinion.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,703 ratings  ·  257 reviews

Sort order
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-events
This book is an eye opener for those of us unfamiliar with the wide ranging capabilities and imminent impact of AI. Lee tells us about the development, design and future of AI and associated web and mobile technology. He contrasts Chinese work in AI with that in the US. While Chinese AI is based on technologies developed in the US, Chinese companies are now taking their own direction. Lee makes a strong case that AI will have profound consequences for society and determine the relative power of ...more
Dee Arr
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
{Words on Words 60-Second Spotlight Review: }

Early on, it is noticeable that Mr. Lee’s comments all favor his original premise, that China will eclipse the United States as a global superpower in the realm of international commerce. While I believe this is a possibility, the author’s view initially appeared tainted due to his relative closeness to the subject matter (viewing China as his homeland). Of course, the same could be said of me (living in the US), so I advise rea
Science (Fiction) Comedy Horror and Fantasy Geek/Nerd
The distillation and preparation of the data for feeding the omniscient cyber oracle

Please note that I have put the original German text to the end of this review. Just if you might be interested.

Interesting is the culturally influenced, very different approach to research and integration of AI in society. So the methods to compensate for the loss of jobs and changes in society will be different. It will be interesting to see which strategies will be successful. And whether even more beneficial
This is a great book. It not only provides a history of AI both in the USA and China. Kai-Fu Lee also provides a history of AI’s both in the USA and China, and also incudes an in-depth analysis between China and the US’s approach to AI’s. He also discusses pros and cons of their abilities, engineering and politics.

The author explains technical methods so that a lay person can understand it. He also explains algorithms and data in an easy to understand manner. The author shows how AI’s effect our
Huyen Chip
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book I've read on what's happening in the realm of AI.
Jonathan Lu
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. I learned a lot about what a great man has done, but even more about who he is. His POV about the future of AI is spot on, and made me think about the structural advantage that China has:
- government structure means an ability to rapidly spur public investment in R&D without political backlash (rather embraced support by the lieutenants on the ground), which lends to an even higher appetite for risk than among VCs in Silicon Valley
- Size, with more internet users than US/E
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lee Kai-Fu is a venture capitalist and best selling author. He used to head Google China and is a lymphoma survivor. This book has 2 parts:

1. For AI to succeed, it needs persistent entrepreneurs, AI researchers, capital and lots of data. Lee posited that China’s apps involved the whole service chain, from the mobile phone, to the main goods/service provider to the delivery person. Silicon Valley prefers to code the clean part, that is, the app part but leaves other companies to do the ground wor
Roy Wang
This is one of the most useful books to read if you want to understand China's rising dominance in the applications of A.I. technologies, written by none other than the highly respected expert of China's startup scene, Dr. Kai-Fu Lee. While many Westerners might still associate China's tech companies with copycats or OEM sweatshops, this book makes it crystal clear why China has emerged as the world's model country for developing and integrating A.I. technologies into virtually every corner of i ...more
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A super-important read if you want to get a quick overview into the AI race as it stands. "Eye-opening" is an understatement. In the latter part of the book, the author allows us to get more personal by talking about his battle with late-stage cancer and how it moulded his personal mission to make AI more humane. The only shortcoming I could find in this book was the lack of concrete steps to achieve his mission. Perhaps there are just no concrete steps and humans will just do as humans do. Good ...more
Mal Warwick
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Google "books about artificial intelligence," and you'll find a slew of them. Amazon lists 286. Computer scientists, journalists, science fiction authors, and other observers have written on the topic, sometimes insightfully, sometimes not. I've read nearly two dozen of these books. But AI Superpowers, the latest one to land on my Kindle, is by far the best. Author Kai-Fu Lee isn't just one of the most authoritative voices in the field. He's also unusually insightful. And he writes well (althoug ...more
Reza Mahmoudi
کتاب فوق العاده ی بودشش پیشنهاد میکنم حتما بخونید
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a great introduction to China's startups/technology ecosystem and development. The author also dissects broad types of AI companies and explains the environments in which each type would flourish really well. Finally, it is insightful to learn Kai-Fu Lee's take on life as he spent decades as an insider in the field - in research and business, in China and the U.S.
Rahul  Adusumilli
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rahul by: The Economist
May have already found my book of the year. The title doesn't do justice to the breadth of the book. In addition to contrasting the two innovative centres- yes, China is an innovative centre now-, it also works as a good history and introduction to the field of AI. It takes a radical turn towards spirituality near the end but you even forgive that out-of-the-blue detour for the sweetness of his hopes.

That turn is a lot like the Matrix trilogy's, when everything becomes about love and love becom
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Akshith Rao
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a good foundation on what is AI, its various stages, the ongoing war between China and USA and finally its implications on human beings with a slight drawback of sometimes being repetitive and sometimes loosing direction

I liked Kai's AI evolution model and his reasoning on how we need to think beyond just plain universal basic income schemes to solve the impending job loses due to AI. His views on how AI will effect the social inequality system is also interesting.

I did not like
Denis Vasilev
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Взгляд на соперничество Китая и США в сфере ИИ, немного личной истории, прогнозы на будущее. Книга текущего момента, не фундаментальная теория.
Masha Maltseva
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
interesting analysis of Chinese approach to research and work, especially comparing to one in US and Russia (which i processed by myself, Kai Fu never mentions russian scientists or researchers in his book). After this book i've also read MIT special edition on China and it completes the picture because MIT goes even wider, describing the situation not only in AI
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kai-Fu Lee má kořeny na Taiwanu, kde žil do svých 11 let. Pak se přestěhoval za svým bratrem do Spojených států, kde vystudoval a nastartoval i svoji profesionální kariéru v oblasti umělé inteligence, aby svoje znalosti a zkušenosti následně zúročil v roli VC investora v Číně. 
Před 10 lety byl pojem AI (artificial intelligence, umělá inteligence) maximálně námětem pro odbornou debatu v zasvěcených vědeckých kruzích anebo tématem odvážné sci-fi literatury. Doba se však mění: dnes je AI všude a m
Grace Cao
Interesting summary of the AI landscape and vision for the future. But it’s the type of 200-page books whose main points can be summarized in 20 pages.

China may be bigger beneficiary than US from AI revolution because of two transitions: from age of discovery to age of implementation, from age of expertise to age of data.

AI’s social impact: winners-take-all, growing inequality, loss of jobs, loss of purpose.

China’s special tech dynamics:
Copycat entrepreneurs
Mobile-first users who can’t afford
Nari Kannan
Frankly, I could not read beyond the first few chapters of this book. Dr. Kai Fu Lee lost all credibility with me when in the second chapter or so he says "Everything in AI Science that needs to be discovered has been discovered. Now it is up to the entrepreneurs to move it forward". I was so surprised that someone with a PhD in AI from Carnegie-Mellon would say something like this. Funny thing about AI is that you need to implement something hard in it like Natural Language Understanding or Mac ...more
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee is a book about the past, present and future of AI as forecast by the author, a true expert in the field. Unfortunately, AI Superpowers is shallow when it comes to the actual technical content of the book. Lee makes no attempt to provide deep insights into the specific technologies and methods that will unlock the next phase of AI that promises to disrupt major sectors of the world’s economy. Lee instead employs analogi ...more
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all Silicon Valley sociopaths and psychopaths
Typical Silicon Valley sociopath's journey from being part of the problem, to discovery that he is actually a human too, and on his path to redemption demonstrates that it is possible to apply ones incredible skills constructively to the problem. This should be required reading for all Silicon Valley sociopaths (otherwise known as oligarchs).

This book contains a great executive summary on the current state of the art of AI in both China and the US, and great for someone totally new. It might fil
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karel Baloun
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The incredible technology who’s who on the back cover certifies this is the most important book to read right now: Yann LeCun, Satya Nadella, Marc Benioff, TED’s Chris Anderson, even Brynjolfsson, all sing epic praise. The most unique and emotional part of this book, the last two chapters, falls especially flat for me. Clearly, he still is proud of his workaholic period as that established him, so his late life call for love throughout society reads again just as personal for him. His alternativ ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
Ehh, don't be deterred by my 2 star rating. This book is short and may still worth your time.

I will break down the book into roughly 4 sections: 1) AI & its beauty, 2) its ugliness 3) the author 4) the author's proposed solution.

For people unfamiliar with China, especially the modern China since 2010s, the first section is particularly valuable. I've been fascinated by the country for quite a few years already and have learned the majority of examples that Lee covers through my friends and t
Chouba Nabil
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chine come up with different eco systems and type of software like wechat they don’t use Facebook and PayPal like in US or Europe.

Cheap labour will be overthrown by robots, and factories will be located near costumer ( dead of the advantages of developing countries)

In China company copy each other they don’t succeed by being a copycat but being a gladiator ( Kill or be killed ).

From history: Copycats clocks from Swiss plus they add their Chinese culture

China total war between company dirty tric
Trung Nguyen Dang
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall the book is not bad thanks to the first 4 chapters when the author talked about the start-up/tech scence in China and how it is different from the US.

According to the author, China plans to dominate AI and will succeed because it has the edge in the four determinants of AI success: data, regulation, brains, and capital. Firstly, for data, the size of China's e-commerce, ride-sharing, and payments dwaft those of the US and thus generate vastly more data. Furthermore, all these data are c
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My opinion of this book changed significantly about halfway through. Quotes early on in the book like, "We could pick one street in Zhongguancun, clear out all the old inhabitants, and open the space to key players in this kind of ecosystem: VC firms, startups, incubators, and service providers" left me concerned about his seemingly disturbing lack of ethics. He seemed fine with a dystopian future. While I enjoy reading dystopian science fiction, I don’t want to live in one of those worlds. He a ...more
Jordan Schneider
Kai-Fu Lee, a AI researcher and investor extraordinaire, knows alot. The first two-thirds of the book on the differences between the US and Chinese startup ecosystems, an analysis of the two nations' AI development strategies and relative strengths breaking down the different AI applications was very satisfying. There aren't many people out there with the technical expertise, business and investing skill, cross-border experience and English language fluency required to take on these topics above ...more
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up
  • The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty
  • A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia
  • Mining of Massive Datasets
  • The Myth of Meritocracy: Why Working-Class Kids Still Get Working-Class Jobs (Provocations)
  • Europe's Last Chance: Why the European States Must Form a More Perfect Union
  • The Hacked World Order: How Nations Fight, Trade, Maneuver, and Manipulate in the Digital Age
  • Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order
  • Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth
  • After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality
  • The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions
  • The Econocracy: The Perils of Leaving Economics to the Experts
  • The Joy of Tax
  • Injustice: Why Social Inequality Persists
  • The Creative Economy: How People Make Money From Ideas
  • The Great Illusion
  • The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy
  • Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited: Anti-Globalization in the Era of Trump

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »
“In stark contrast, China’s startup culture is the yin to Silicon Valley’s yang: instead of being mission-driven, Chinese companies are first and foremost market-driven. Their ultimate goal is to make money, and they’re willing to create any product, adopt any model, or go into any business that will accomplish that objective. That mentality leads to incredible flexibility in business models and execution, a perfect distillation of the “lean startup” model often praised in Silicon Valley. It doesn’t matter where an idea came from or who came up with it. All that matters is whether you can execute it to make a financial profit. The core motivation for China’s market-driven entrepreneurs is not fame, glory, or changing the world. Those things are all nice side benefits, but the grand prize is getting rich, and it doesn’t matter how you get there.” 3 likes
“In deep learning, there’s no data like more data. The more examples of a given phenomenon a network is exposed to, the more accurately it can pick out patterns and identify things in the real world.” 2 likes
More quotes…