53 pages 1 hour read

Kai-Fu Lee

AI Superpowers

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 2018

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Chapters 7-9

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 7 Summary: “The Wisdom of Cancer”

Lee writes that he has always had a “fanatical work ethic,” which has rewarded him with incredible success. It also resulted in a robotic mindset and emotional distance from his loved ones.

He tells the story of trying to choose between attending an important meeting and witnessing his first child’s birth. He was able to do both, but if he was forced to choose between them, he “likely” would have picked the meeting. He describes himself as a human AI who made choices based on calculations. He determined the minimum amount of time he needed to spend with loved ones to keep them from complaining and spent the rest of his time on work.

For most of his life, Lee tried to work “twice as hard” as regular people and expected the same from his employees and colleagues. He extolled the virtues of single-minded hard work in self-help books and speeches at college campus. He ended these speeches by instructing his audience to imagine their epitaphs. His own hypothetical tombstone described him as a scientist and business executive whose work “benefited everyone.” Later, it reflected his desire to be seen as a teacher.

In 2013, Lee was diagnosed with lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes).