Kai-fu Lee to Speak at Tech and Innovation Summit

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For the 2018 Technology and Innovation Summit, AmCham China is excited to host Kai-fu Lee as one of our esteemed keynote speakers. Lee is a noted technologist, venture capitalist, artificial intelligence (AI) expert, and the CEO of Sinovation Ventures.

Lee’s track record as an innovator in technology dates back as far as 1988 at Carnegie Mellon University, where he completed his doctoral dissertation on “Sphinx” – the world’s  first large-vocabulary, speaker-independent, continuous speech recognition system. Since then, he has been most well-known for his pivotal work at Apple, founding of Microsoft Research Asia, and his time as President of Google China. Now, Lee is helping drive China's innovation ecosystem into a new era with his venture capital fund, Sinovation Ventures, which manages a US $1.7 billion investment fund and recently raised a new fund of US $500 million to invest in Chinese AI startups.

“If you think in an Olympic sense – gold medal, silver medal, bronze medal – I think there are really only two medals in this competition, and the US and China have them.”

At the summit, you'll hear Lee’s in-depth and insightful discussion of AI, the impending US-China "race" for AI supremacy, and the implications of artificial intelligence adoption throughout industries. As well, expect a cerebral exploration of a utopian future where artificial intelligence ushers in an age of economic, societal, and philosophical freedom – if we can first survive the dramatic disruption to society as we know it.

In this forthcoming world defined by the ubiquity of advanced artificial intelligence, Lee predicts a technological landscape where the US and China fight neither each other nor any other nation for AI market share. Instead, he believes the future of artificial intelligence is a two-sided story dominated by the US and China – little but honorable mentions and consolation prizes left for others in the space. “If you think in an Olympic sense – gold medal, silver medal, bronze medal – I think there are really only two medals in this competition, and the US and China have them,” states Lee.

“In 50 to 100 years, people may well work very differently. Some may just stay home and write poetry that some people may or may not pay money for. And that is a utopian future, that may be possible, but if - and only if - we get through the transition.”

Lee speaks of a future where this duopoly on artificial intelligence is held firmly in the hands of the US and China. But, beyond the question of market share, the specter of such advanced technology’s impact on society looms long. Job displacement caused by AI stands to be a formidable challenge which both countries will be forced to resolve. This displacement will see much of society out of a job, and looking for meaning in the void once occupied by their careers.

The other side of this coin, however, can be quite romantic from Lee’s perspective. “In 50 to 100 years, people may well work very differently. Some may just stay home and write poetry that some people may or may not pay money for. And that is a utopian future, that may be possible, but if - and only if - we get through the transition,” Lee posits.

On September 20, Kai-fu Lee will kick off the Technology and Innovation Summit, painting a picture of the future that has the potential to redefine industry, business, and the very fundamentals of how we view and live our lives.

Join us for this momentous occasion as AmCham China celebrates its first Tech and Innovation Summit.

Click here for more event information and to register for tickets