April 05, 2018

Ex-Google Executive Opens a School for AI, with China's Help

Featuring Elsa B. Kania, and Robert O. Work

Source: Wired

Journalist Tom Simonite

WHEN CHINA’S GOVERNMENT said last summer it intends to surpass the US and lead the world in artificial intelligence by 2030, skeptics pointed to a major problem. Despite gobs of data from the world’s largest online population, lightweight privacy rules, and 8 million fresh college graduates in 2017, the country doesn’t have enough people skilled in AI to overtake America.

This week Kai-Fu Lee, onetime head of Google’s operations in China, launched a new project to help close the country’s AI talent gap. His helpers include the Chinese government and some of North America’s leading computer scientists. The project is an example of how US and Chinese efforts to progress in AI are entangled, despite recent rhetoric about superpower technology rivalry.

Lee was born in Taiwan, studied in the US, and began his career in AI research before stints as an executive at Silicon Graphics, Apple, and Microsoft. He led Google’s expansion in China until 2009, when he left to found an AI-centric investment firm now called Sinovation Ventures. The firm invests in both China and the US, and has its own AI research institute.

Read the full article at WIRED


  • Elsa B. Kania

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Elsa B. Kania is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. Her research focuses on Chinese military...

  • Robert O. Work

    Senior Counselor for Defense and Distinguished Senior Fellow for Defense and National Security

    Secretary Robert O. Work is the Distinguished Senior Fellow for Defense and National Security at the Center for a New American Security and the owner of TeamWork, LLC, which s...