Chinese netizens spot AI books on president Xi Jinping’s bookshelf

Every year, China’s president Xi Jinping delivers a New Year’s Eve address, outlining the country’s plans for the months ahead. But Chinese netizens don’t just pay attention to his words; they also scour the bookshelves behind Xi, analyzing the titles and authors found there to try and gain some insight into his mind. And the big additions this year? Well, two new texts on artificial intelligence — a topic of huge interest for the Chinese government.

As reported by The Shanghaiist (and seen via Quartz), the books on AI were Pedro Domingos’ The Master Algorithm and Brett King’s Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane. Both deal with the potential impact of artificial intelligence on society, with King’s book providing a futurist’s slightly…

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