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AI has gone through inflection points and winters throughout it’s life span from 1950s or so. But the grand AI discovery made 10 years ago, in hindsight, is clearly the game changer. It’s known as Deep Learning. For the uninitiated, Deep Learning technology can take huge amount of data, within one single domain and learns to predict or decide at superhuman accuracy. We have always tried to achieve this level of precision. Mundane work is not for human beings, it’s for the machine; AI defines what mundane is, way beyond what we thought.

If we show large number of food photographs to the deep learning network, it would be able to recognize food as hot dog or no hot dog. The applications are endless, from driverless cars to speech writing. This deep learning is at the core is AI discovery and that has been led by the US. The discovery phase might well be over! Convincingly, we have now moved in the era of AI implementation. Technology inherently makes sense through it’s execution. Discoveries are at the core but it does not enamour the world. What really matters is execution, product, quality, speed and data.

China, the Doer, enters here. With fire in their belly and passion in their head, Chinese entrepreneurs are incredible workers with an amazing work ethic, which can put rest of the world to shame. Professionalism Redefined is the only to describe them. Work life balance is 996; working 9 am to 9 pm for 6 days. That’s contrasted with start ups that do 997. The quality shoots up in a fiercely competitive environment. Silicon Valley is gentlemanly, Chinese environment is gladiatorial. Brutal environment has it’s own fallout; entrepreneurs learn to grow rapidly, to make products better at lightning speed and most importantly learn to hone their business models until they are impregnable.

WeChat & Weibo are better than Facebook & Twitter. China embraces acclerated change making paradigm shifts. It is a cashless & credit card-less society. Humungous data becomes AI’s rocket fuel. The most valuable companies in computer vision, speech recognition, speech synthesis, machine learning & drones are all Chinese companies.


Sanjay Sahay

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