‘AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future’: AI Pioneer Kai-Fu Lee Discusses His New Work of Fiction

by Angie Lee

One of AI’s greatest champions has turned to fiction to answer the question: how will technology shape our world in the next 20 years?

Kai-Fu Lee, CEO of Sinovation Ventures and a former president of Google China, spoke with NVIDIA AI Podcast host Noah Kravitz about AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future. The book, his fourth available in the U.S. and first work of fiction, was in collaboration with Chinese sci-fi writer Chen Qiufan, also known as Stanley Chan.

Lee and Chan blend their expertise in scientific forecasting and speculative fiction in this collection of short stories, which was published in September.

Among Lee’s books is the New York Times bestseller AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order, which he spoke about on a 2018 episode of the AI Podcast.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Each of AI 2041‘s stories takes place in a different country and tackles various AI-related topics. For example, one story follows a teenage girl in Mumbai who rebels when AI gets in the way of her romantic endeavors. Another is about virtual teachers in Seoul who offer orphaned twins new ways to learn and connect.
  • Lee added written commentaries to go along with each story, covering what real technologies are used in it, how those technologies work, as well as their potential upsides and downsides.


As AI still seems to be an intimidating topic for many, “I wanted to see if we could create a new, innovative piece of work that is not only accessible, but also engaging and entertaining for more people.” — Kai-Fu Lee [1:48]

“By the end of the 10th story, [readers] will have taken their first lesson in AI.” — Kai-Fu Lee [2:02]

You Might Also Like:

Investor, AI Pioneer Kai-Fu Lee on the Future of AI in the US, China

Kai-Fu Lee talks about his book, AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order, which ranked No. 6 on the New York Times Business Books bestsellers list.

Real or Not Real? Attorney Steven Frank Uses Deep Learning to Authenticate Art

Steven Frank is a partner at the law firm Morgan Lewis, specializing in intellectual property and commercial technology law. He talks about working with his wife, Andrea Frank, a professional curator of art images, to authenticate artistic masterpieces with AI’s help.

Author Cade Metz Talks About His New Book “Genius Makers”

Call it Moneyball for AI. In his book, Genius Makers, the New York Times writer Cade Metz tells the funny, inspiring — and ultimately triumphant — tale of how a dogged group of AI researchers bet their careers on the long-dismissed technology of deep learning.

Subscribe to the AI Podcast

Get the AI Podcast through iTunes, Google Podcasts, Google Play, Castbox, DoggCatcher, Overcast, PlayerFM, Pocket Casts, Podbay, PodBean, PodCruncher, PodKicker, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher and TuneIn. If your favorite isn’t listed here, drop us a note.

Make the AI Podcast Better

Have a few minutes to spare? Fill out this listener survey. Your answers will help us make a better podcast.