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Mo Bunnell, AI Leapfrogging, and China's Collapse.
The best podcasts are the ones where the chemistry between the host and guest is authentic and turns the interview into a conversation. Not a lot of hosts have that ability but my friend, Mo Bunnell, definitely does. Check out our conversation about how the principles in A CEO Only Does Three Things can translate into positions of leadership that may not carry the senior title.
Leaders should focus, understand themselves and others from a deep psychological place, and focus on Culture, People and Numbers before letting the tasks of the day kidnap their schedules. Mo’s podcast is one of the best, one on my subscribe list and I always take real value from it. I hope you’ll give a listen here, and subscribe, too.
“Learn how to live with those you disagree with, or even offend you. See if you can find the truth in what they say.”
James Currier from NFX has a new article positing the intriguing notion that AI technologies have the potential to enable developing countries to leapfrog their developed counterparts in economic growth. As an established entrepreneur and noted venture capitalist with his eye on the future, Currier's assertions are backed by years of wisdom and expertise in the tech field. He’s someone I read often and from whom I learn much. Almost entirely immune to hype, Currier has proven himself to be a discerning commentator on matters tech and beyond.
‘Leapfrogging,' is an idea that is not entirely new but I haven’t seen it applied to artificial intelligence until now. Traditionally, it refers to the bypassing of outdated infrastructure or technologies in favour of adopting more advanced solutions. Think about it like this: When the developing world started providing telephony for the masses, it didn’t start strangling landlines everyone and tell the citizenry that cell phones would come around one day. No, those making the decisions installed the latest cellphone infrastructure from day one. They jumped over an outdated technology, landed on the new technology and built from there.
According to Currier, three conditions are necessary for AI leapfrogging:
AI capability, [Check!]
data availability, and [Check!]
the absence of legacy systems [Big Check!].
When these conditions are met, developing nations can make exponential strides in technological advancements just by starting to build on what is publicly available now. This potential, according to Currier, could redefine global economic dynamics, disrupt current power structures and, most importantly, serve as a catalyst for sustainable development and social good in traditionally underprivileged regions.
It’s something to think about, for sure.
“And if you are not happy, you have been trained to blame yourself, not your programming, not your cultural or inherited ideas and beliefs.”
-Anthony de Mello
Peter Zeihan sent an update on China’s new projected demographics last week and it’s a mindblower! In short, the demographic news for China was bad and it just got way worse.
The worst thing for individual country demographics is to have a fast-aging population without demographic support from younger generations. In essence, you’ve got all the old, retired workers at the top and not enough shoulders to stand on on the bottom. In China (and sooooo many other countries except the US and a handful of others), the number of people entering the workforce can't keep up with retirees.
In China, the number of children under the age of 5 has collapsed, and because its China reporting numbers about its own population, that number may be exaggerated. If this is true, “China isn't a country in demographic decay...its a country in the advanced stages of demographic collapse,” according to Zeihan.
Now, countries don’t cease to exist overnight. They age out of existence until they are absorbed in parts by neighbors seeking to prevent political collapse on their own borders … if they have the population to secure those borders themselves. If they don’t, then lawless an ungovernable states like Somalia may become the norm in large parts of the world.
Cheery stuff, I know, but a core part of the reason that we have deployed no investment dollars into China or Russia.