the new world order

Review :

{Words on Words 60-Second Spotlight Review: https://bit.ly/2ymCzcg }

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 readers to take both our initial comments with a grain of salt.

Chinese entrepreneurs have harnessed what has been known for years, that lean companies able to make quick decisions have the advantage in the marketplace. The danger of decisive decisions means the quick sprint in a different direction can lead to riches or a spiral to oblivion.

About halfway through the book, I began to wonder why Mr. Lee chose to spend all this time and effort to tell everyone that he believes China will overtake the US in the AI field. While the stories explaining the growth of Chinese companies were interesting and I can see how they are necessary to use as comparisons to US companies, I questioned the premise for the book. Does he want to warn the US Brag up his home country Publish a book to hype his "Sinovation" company (Fortunately, Mr. Lee answered these questions and more in the last chapter).

Mr. Lee then executed an about-face with an intimate look at his life-threatening disease and how it affected his outlook on life and relationships with others. It is this epiphany that spurs the last third of the book, which moves past the dire outcomes of AI robots putting 50% of us out of work and instead offers a realistic view of using inherent human strengths to create opportunities for us to coexist with the inevitable world we face.

I liked that the author did not pound one thesis at us for 300 pages. Rather, he presented his views in an articulate manner, separating the discussions into coherent pieces that allow readers time to understand one concept before moving on. Surprisingly (based solely on the book's title), the ultimate thrust of the book did not pit the two superpowers against each other. After posing the questions of how China and the United States might perform in the context of a business model, Mr. Lee moved into an area currently inaccessible to AI, the ability to feel and demonstrate compassion for others.

As a world, we are headed toward a myriad of possibilities, and "AI Superpowers" does more than simply educate. It provides a potential guideline to aid us all in our travels through future uncertainties. In the author's own words: "If we believe that life has meaning beyond this material rat race, then AI might be the tool that can help us uncover that deeper meaning." Five stars.

My thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for an advance complimentary ebook.


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