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  • I'm going to talk about how AI and mankind can coexist,

  • but first, we have to rethink about our human values.

  • So let me first make a confession about my errors in my values.

  • It was 11 o'clock, December 16, 1991.

  • I was about to become a father for the first time.

  • My wife, Shen-Ling, lay in the hospital bed

  • going through a very difficult 12-hour labor.

  • I sat by her bedside

  • but looked anxiously at my watch,

  • and I knew something that she didn't.

  • I knew that if in one hour,

  • our child didn't come,

  • I was going to leave her there

  • and go back to work

  • and make a presentation about AI

  • to my boss, Apple's CEO.

  • Fortunately, my daughter was born at 11:30 --

  • (Laughter)

  • (Applause)

  • sparing me from doing the unthinkable,

  • and to this day, I am so sorry

  • for letting my work ethic take precedence over love for my family.

  • (Applause)

  • My AI talk, however, went off brilliantly.

  • (Laughter)

  • Apple loved my work and decided to announce it

  • at TED1992,

  • 26 years ago on this very stage.

  • I thought I had made one of the biggest, most important discoveries in AI,

  • and so did the "Wall Street Journal" on the following day.

  • But as far as discoveries went,

  • it turned out,

  • I didn't discover India, or America.

  • Perhaps I discovered a little island off of Portugal.

  • But the AI era of discovery continued,

  • and more scientists poured their souls into it.

  • About 10 years ago, the grand AI discovery

  • was made by three North American scientists,

  • and it's known as deep learning.

  • Deep learning is a technology that can take a huge amount of data

  • within one single domain

  • and learn to predict or decide at superhuman accuracy.

  • For example, if we show the deep learning network

  • a massive number of food photos,

  • it can recognize food

  • such as hot dog or no hot dog.

  • (Applause)

  • Or if we show it many pictures and videos and sensor data

  • from driving on the highway,

  • it can actually drive a car as well as a human being

  • on the highway.

  • And what if we showed this deep learning network

  • all the speeches made by President Trump?

  • Then this artificially intelligent President Trump,

  • actually the network --

  • (Laughter)

  • can --

  • (Applause)

  • You like double oxymorons, huh?

  • (Laughter)

  • (Applause)

  • So this network, if given the request to make a speech about AI,

  • he, or it, might say --

  • (Recording) Donald Trump: It's a great thing

  • to build a better world with artificial intelligence.

  • Kai-Fu Lee: And maybe in another language?

  • DT: (Speaking Chinese)

  • (Laughter)

  • KFL: You didn't know he knew Chinese, did you?

  • So deep learning has become the core in the era of AI discovery,

  • and that's led by the US.

  • But we're now in the era of implementation,

  • where what really matters is execution, product quality, speed and data.

  • And that's where China comes in.

  • Chinese entrepreneurs,

  • who I fund as a venture capitalist,

  • are incredible workers,

  • amazing work ethic.

  • My example in the delivery room is nothing compared to how hard people work in China.

  • As an example, one startup tried to claim work-life balance:

  • "Come work for us because we are 996."

  • And what does that mean?

  • It means the work hours of 9am to 9pm, six days a week.

  • That's contrasted with other startups that do 997.

  • And the Chinese product quality has consistently gone up

  • in the past decade,

  • and that's because of a fiercely competitive environment.

  • In Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs compete in a very gentlemanly fashion,

  • sort of like in old wars in which each side took turns

  • to fire at each other.

  • (Laughter)

  • But in the Chinese environment,

  • it's truly a gladiatorial fight to the death.

  • In such a brutal environment, entrepreneurs learn to grow very rapidly,

  • they learn to make their products better at lightning speed,

  • and they learn to hone their business models

  • until they're impregnable.

  • As a result, great Chinese products like WeChat and Weibo

  • are arguably better

  • than the equivalent American products from Facebook and Twitter.

  • And the Chinese market embraces this change

  • and accelerated change and paradigm shifts.

  • As an example, if any of you go to China,

  • you will see it's almost cashless and credit card-less,

  • because that thing that we all talk about, mobile payment,

  • has become the reality in China.

  • In the last year,

  • 18.8 trillion US dollars were transacted on mobile internet,

  • and that's because of very robust technologies

  • built behind it.

  • It's even bigger than the China GDP.

  • And this technology, you can say, how can it be bigger than the GDP?

  • Because it includes all transactions:

  • wholesale, channels, retail, online, offline,

  • going into a shopping mall or going into a farmers market like this.

  • The technology is used by 700 million people

  • to pay each other, not just merchants,

  • so it's peer to peer,

  • and it's almost transaction-fee-free.

  • And it's instantaneous,

  • and it's used everywhere.

  • And finally, the China market is enormous.

  • This market is large,

  • which helps give entrepreneurs more users, more revenue,

  • more investment, but most importantly,

  • it gives the entrepreneurs a chance to collect a huge amount of data

  • which becomes rocket fuel for the AI engine.

  • So as a result, the Chinese AI companies

  • have leaped ahead

  • so that today, the most valuable companies

  • in computer vision, speech recognition,

  • speech synthesis, machine translation and drones

  • are all Chinese companies.

  • So with the US leading the era of discovery

  • and China leading the era of implementation,

  • we are now in an amazing age

  • where the dual engine of the two superpowers

  • are working together

  • to drive the fastest revolution in technology

  • that we have ever seen as humans.

  • And this will bring tremendous wealth,

  • unprecedented wealth:

  • 16 trillion dollars, according to PwC,

  • in terms of added GDP to the worldwide GDP by 2030.

  • It will also bring immense challenges

  • in terms of potential job replacements.

  • Whereas in the Industrial Age

  • it created more jobs

  • because craftsman jobs were being decomposed into jobs in the assembly line,

  • so more jobs were created.

  • But AI completely replaces the individual jobs

  • in the assembly line with robots.

  • And it's not just in factories,

  • but truckers, drivers

  • and even jobs like telesales, customer service

  • and hematologists as well as radiologists

  • over the next 15 years

  • are going to be gradually replaced

  • by artificial intelligence.

  • And only the creative jobs --

  • (Laughter)

  • I have to make myself safe, right?

  • Really, the creative jobs are the ones that are protected,

  • because AI can optimize but not create.

  • But what's more serious than the loss of jobs

  • is the loss of meaning,

  • because the work ethic in the Industrial Age

  • has brainwashed us into thinking that work is the reason we exist,

  • that work defined the meaning of our lives.

  • And I was a prime and willing victim to that type of workaholic thinking.

  • I worked incredibly hard.

  • That's why I almost left my wife in the delivery room,

  • that's why I worked 996 alongside my entrepreneurs.

  • And that obsession that I had with work

  • ended abruptly a few years ago

  • when I was diagnosed with fourth stage lymphoma.

  • The PET scan here shows over 20 malignant tumors

  • jumping out like fireballs,

  • melting away my ambition.

  • But more importantly,

  • it helped me reexamine my life.

  • Knowing that I may only have a few months to live

  • caused me to see how foolish it was

  • for me to base my entire self-worth

  • on how hard I worked and the accomplishments from hard work.

  • My priorities were completely out of order.

  • I neglected my family.

  • My father had passed away,

  • and I never had a chance to tell him I loved him.

  • My mother had dementia and no longer recognized me,

  • and my children had grown up.

  • During my chemotherapy,

  • I read a book by Bronnie Ware

  • who talked about dying wishes and regrets of the people in the deathbed.

  • She found that facing death,

  • nobody regretted that they didn't work hard enough in this life.

  • They only regretted that they didn't spend enough time with their loved ones

  • and that they didn't spread their love.

  • So I am fortunately today in remission.

  • (Applause)

  • So I can be back at TED again

  • to share with you that I have changed my ways.

  • I now only work 965 --

  • occasionally 996, but usually 965.

  • I moved closer to my mother,

  • my wife usually travels with me,

  • and when my kids have vacation, if they don't come home, I go to them.

  • So it's a new form of life

  • that helped me recognize

  • how important it is that love is for me,

  • and facing death helped me change my life,

  • but it also helped me see a new way

  • of how AI should impact mankind

  • and work and coexist with mankind,

  • that really, AI is taking away a lot of routine jobs,

  • but routine jobs are not what we're about.

  • Why we exist is love.

  • When we hold our newborn baby,

  • love at first sight,

  • or when we help someone in need,

  • humans are uniquely able to give and receive love,

  • and that's what differentiates us from AI.

  • Despite what science fiction may portray,

  • I can responsibly tell you that AI has no love.

  • When AlphaGo defeated the world champion Ke Jie,

  • while Ke Jie was crying and loving the game of go,

  • AlphaGo felt no happiness from winning

  • and certainly no desire to hug a loved one.

  • So how do we differentiate ourselves

  • as humans in the age of AI?

  • We talked about the axis of creativity,

  • and certainly that is one possibility,

  • and now we introduce a new axis

  • that we can call compassion, love, or empathy.

  • Those are things that AI cannot do.

  • So as AI takes away the routine jobs,

  • I like to think we can, we should and we must create jobs of compassion.

  • You might ask how many of those there are,

  • but I would ask you:

  • Do you not think that we are going to need a lot of social workers

  • to help us make this transition?

  • Do you not think we need a lot of compassionate caregivers

  • to give more medical care to more people?

  • Do you not think we're going to need 10 times more teachers

  • to help our children find their way

  • to survive and thrive in this brave new world?

  • And with all the newfound wealth,

  • should we not also make labors of love into careers

  • and let elderly accompaniment

  • or homeschooling become careers also?

  • (Applause)

  • This