Sinovation Ventures’ founder Dr. Kai-Fu Lee has, with his 50 million followers on Chinese social networks, been deemed an “oracle” when it comes to predicting the future of technology in China, and addressed the most important trends in Chinese startups during the TechCrunch-event in Beijing 2016.
With a company liked Sinovation Ventures that recently raised $675 million in total across a Chinese and an American fund, and a range of 300 companies in its portfolio, it is promising that their next big investment will be in artificial intelligence.
“AI is really changing every profession and every industry. There’s almost nothing that won’t be touched by AI,” Kai-Fu Lee said. “You could easily imagine education applications for instance — AI could replace a lot of the basic teaching functions. Medicine and health are also key areas”, Kai-Fu told TechCrunch.
Kai-Fu addressed the frequently raised issue regarding artificial intelligence potentially putting people out of work, saying he is optimistic about this development. “AI works very hard and is very cheap. Humanity as a whole will have a lot more resources and we will probably be able to take care of everyone thanks to AI. As for human mankind, we’re probably not here on Earth to perform repetitive and non-productive tasks,” he said.
Kai-Fu believes that transporting will be the industry that will be most affected by the technology, whereas when it comes to healthcare he believes it will take longer, and be a progressive change, due to the fact that it involves the risk of human lives.
Sinovation Ventures is currently investing in entertainment and content companies too, saying: “We tend to make smaller investments in the U.S. so that we can get in and learn from these investments,” Kai-Fu Lee said, which could mean investing in hardware companies, toy companies, etc. TechCrunch writes.
When addressing the state of consumer products in China, Kai-Fu said: “I think the consumer mobile internet is more advanced in China than in the U.S. because Chinese users were behind, so now they can move forward and jump a few steps. People jumped directly from cash to mobile payment. In certain areas like mobile payment, mobile gaming, mobile communication, China is leading.”
He believes that the giant tech-companies such as Google and Facebook should not attempt to compete with Chinese consumer giants, such as WeChat, because he believes it is already too late. This goes for Chinese companies trying to obtain market shares in the U.S. too, Kai-Fu says.
“I wouldn’t bet on Chinese companies being very successful outside of China over the next few years.”
This article was first found at: https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/06/sinovation-ventures-dr-kai-fu-lee-is-betting-big-on-artificial-intelligence/