Andrew Yang is Ahead of His Time – Kai-Fu Lee | AI Podcast Clips

Andrew Yang is Ahead of His Time – Kai-Fu Lee | AI Podcast Clips

– I’m not sure if you’re
familiar with Andrew Yang? – [Other Speaker] Yes I am. – So there’s a candidate for
President of the United States who’s platform, Andrew Yang is based in part around job loss due to automation and also in addition the need perhaps, of universal basic income
to support jobs that are, folks who lose their
job due to automation. So what are your thoughts
about his concerns, him as a candidate, his ideas in general? – I think his thinking is
generally in the right direction, but his approach as a
presidential candidate may be a little bit ahead of the time. I think the displacements will happen, but will they happen soon enough for people to agree to vote for him. The unemployment numbers
are not very high yet and I think he and I
have the same challenge. If I want to theoretically
convince people this is an issue and he wants to become the President, people have to see how
can this be the case when unemployment numbers are low. So that is the challegne. I do agree with him on
the displacement issue. I think the main issue is retraining. So people need to be incented not by just giving a monthly
$2,000 check, or $1,000 check and do whatever they want, because they don’t have the
know how to know what to retrain to go into what type of a job and guidance is needed,
and retraining is needed, because historically in
technology revolutions where routine jobs were displaced,
new routine jobs came up, but with AI and automation the whole point is replacing all routine jobs eventually and AI will create jobs, but
it won’t create routine jobs, because if it creates routine jobs why wouldn’t an AI just do it. So therefore, the people
who are losing the jobs are losing routine jobs. The jobs that are becoming
available are non routine jobs so these the social stipend
needs to be put in place is for the routine workers
who lost their jobs to be retrained and then take
on the job that will last for that person’s lifetime.


100 thoughts on “Andrew Yang is Ahead of His Time – Kai-Fu Lee | AI Podcast Clips”

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  • Cognitively Absurd says:

    The reason it's the case while unemployment is low is because automation doesn't decrease the unemployment rate. It decreases the labor force participation rate.

    While it can be said many Americans have some sort of disability or younger Americans want to go to school, both groups in the past were more easily able to find a job. The number of people on social security disability in 1960(prior to the invention of the ATM and other automations) was ~500k. Today, it's over 10 million. That's an increase of 20 fold. But, our general population certainly didn't increase 20 fold. Meaning, the state has been loosening up on who qualifies for disability OR, more people have been applying for it. Back in 1960, someone with an anxiety disorder wouldn't have a hard time finding a job. Today they do due to it being much more competitive. Have we ever had a higher amount of applicants per job than today? (this is the metric more worthwhile to look at, not unemployment rate, but rather how many applicants per job there are). Today that person with anxiety disorder will have trouble holding a job, getting a job, etc. So they will feel more inclined to apply for disability than in 1960. Once they do that, they are considered outside of the LFPR, and no longer contribute to the "official" unemployment rate. But, if we assumed a normal growth rate of people on disability, we'd have only ~1 million. So if my theory is correct, an additional 9 million people would be unemployed if the "official" unemployment rate from the state didn't decide to not count them as unemployed.

    Keep in mind, that's only the federal level. States have their own disability programs whom some other millions of more people are on too(and you can't be on both a federal disability and state disability, so this is more people who would normally contribute to the unemployment rate).

    To keep this shorter, here are a few other areas the government keeps the unemployment rate artificially low:

    1) Prison population. War on drugs also started around the same time that major automation inventions like the ATM were invented. Since then, we became the prison capital of the world. Prisoners are also not counted as in "official unemployment".
    2) War on family happened around the same time as those automation, putting more kids into foster care and not having to provide for themselves as much when adults given most states have a way to slowly wean people off of the foster living when an adult(usually until the mid-20s the person still gets some benefits).
    3) Military also not counted as unemployed. The US launched lots of ads and enticements to join the military, and we started building a very large standing military also around the same time as automation
    4) Students who report they are not working "because of school" are also not counted in the labor force. If you look into it, you will likely conclude students only started claiming this because they have a very difficult time getting a job. They believe once they finish education they'll have an easier time. So they just don't bother looking for job when previously students would have. Students who work summer jobs when not in school, declined over years since major automation inventions.

    This trend indicates the things the government does to define who is considered "unemployed" is hiding the true effects of automation. Whether it's intentional or not, we can't say. But this definition of "who is unemployed" is certainly keeping the effects of automation a little inconspicuous.

  • employment might be good but work force participation is at an all time low if people see and acknowledge that, then they'll understand where a lot of that economic pain is dressed up

  • 2020 Elections says:

    If you fail to elect him America will no longer be the strongest nation in this world. After 10 years you will regret and it will be too late. Support from India.

  • Yang has already gone over this with data, that guy just silver-coated some bullshit political views. Yang is premature for the presidency because he's the only candidate talking about automation which Mr. Lee completely agrees with? Headline unemployment rate isn't government malpractice? UBI won't be needed if we simply focus on re-training programs guided by government incompetence? Re-training for what? He had no fucking clue what those future jobs might be…he was just kicking the can down the road like every other useless politician.
    How far are care-giving and infrastructure jobs going to go in terms of mitigation when they'll only generate some hundreds of thousands of jobs at best? Private contractors in those industries already exist and if major institutions are projecting the displacement of potentially over 40 million (on top of the existing millions of discouraged)…critics better come up with more specific answers than that. Anyone that expects bullshit like that to deter support for Yang doesn't even deserve a platform.

  • UBI is a good idea regardless. The income inequality in the US is out of control. Having a baseline not quite living dividend coming in each month will help out so many millions of people. It's not like the sole problem with the US economy is automation. The bottom 50 percent are barely getting by, even those working full time.

  • Fuck this old fort Asian man try to mastermind our brain it’s not going work. Remember president Obama said the problem is the old peoples. Nowadays, we’re ways too smart go hides your old face in the closet

  • Can't believe Li Kai Fu is talking about Andrew Yang.
    But the points he made are already addressed by Andrew Yang, retraining doesn't work, and we have not enough time.

  • Looeyskilz For Realz says:

    This guy didn't do the MATH on Government retraining. 0-15% success rate. I can't stand when people try to discredit Yang's platform without doing their own homework. Like he just had a good idea overnight and thought it would be cool to run for POTUS. The passion in Yang's eyes and voice tell you he's not messing around here.

  • Truthfully Incorrect says:

    I feel like people who bring up current unemployment numbers, faith in people, and/or retraining are immediately discredited from speaking about this topic

  • Retraining does not work. If you get the money in the hands of the people, they have more freedom to find a job that actually means something to them, and maybe even the country. I'D LOVE to plant trees all day and help our planet out, things like that.

  • Given a UBI people can retrain themselves, if the government is going to tell people what jobs are needed they'll be one step behind and following trends, the top-down rule is too slow in todays shifting climate. If people are given a UBI they can invent new jobs the government couldn't imagine existing. It will also open up a market for new kinds of jobs when people have more leisure time, maybe move to their local small hometown (that today are usually deserts in terms of job opportunities). So for example a doctor can provide lots of value to his home-town, set up a local practice, but maybe not earn that much money with just a few clients… but with a UBI it will still work out.

    So UBI is a huge piece of the puzzle for many reasons, a re-training program can supplement as well if necessary.

  • I agree with Kai-Fu Lee on what needs to happen. The problem is that his prescription is outside the scope of possibility for any government, democratic or autocratic.

  • Elon Musketeer says:

    Workforce participation rate is record low at 63%.
    Back in 2000 the participation rate was 67%.
    Anyone who studied economics 101 knows the unemployment rate cannot be gauged alone.

  • Watch some long form interviews with Andrew Yang. They are very good. The one he did with Joe Rogan 6 months ago is how I heard more about him than he giving people free money. His interview with Ben Shapiro was really good as well. Despite what anyone may think of some of the shit he has said, Shapiro was not saying super wild or disrespectful shit to Yang at all, and I really enjoyed the interview more than I thought I was going to. I listened to his one with Rogan as soon as Rogan put it on itunes. Don't sleep on the Sunday Special Shapiro one though, no matter what you think of Shapiro. His H3 podcast interview was also very good. The H3 podcast interview asked him details about things I hadn't heard anyone else I mentioned earlier ask him. Long form interviews with the right people are totally the way to go. Any candidate not doing them is only doing themselves a disservice.

    H3 podcast:

    Joe Rogan podcast: ​


  • Creamapod Games says:

    These kind of talks remind me of when people used to talk about the exact thing Yang is thinking about even more simpler automation.

    I am very skeptical of fear mongers like Yang about automation when it seems damn similar to what people thought in the last century or so. The only type of people to support Yang are the Luddites that don’t want to break stuff up this time.

  • Justin Sorensen says:

    The only problem with this is the fact the definition of routine job is ever changing, every job in the future could be considered routine. We have no idea how quickly AI and automation are really moving, what we do know is what we see. I see mass displacement happening now in 2019, I know too many people who were put out of work this year alone. Working in retail, manufacturing and labor jobs. There are even robot lawn services now, it's happening more rapidly than ever so it only makes sense that now all the sudden we have a candidate backing this idea of UBI because 2020 is the year everything as we know it will fundamentally change.

  • Frank the Tank says:

    as simple as it can be put. this man has no clue what he has talking about and has nothing to back his claim that andrew yang is "ahead of his time". very comical man. you would think he would do the 'math' first before recording this 😉

  • Youre On Stolen Land says:

    The world is ending in 12 years. Better hurry up and replace those truck drivers asap. YangGangIsSoWeToddDid.

  • wow.. Here I thought Kai was going to understand why the UBI is needed. Nope, he sounds like a 20th century Bernyard. Retraining will work.. for some. But the majority, it will not. You can't expect everyone is going to be an engineer or a coder, or a technician that will last forever. That is JUST NOT realistic. I am so disappointed in this guy. He did not look at the statistics.

  • So the UBI will cushion our fall. It will allow us to drive us into the path we always wanted. This will trickle into a forwarding civilization.. Kai does not get it. We need to stop with the 9-5 slave job ideology.

  • 2:02 okay, so the "routine workers" need to be retrain, and then take on a job that will last for that person life time? please explain what kinda of job i can look for. and why stop the video mid conversation?

  • Humans dont need to work or need jobs in the future cuz robots will do everything free for us. Why are these smart guys not getting it? We create machines and robots to make life easier so we can do less and get more. That is the whole reason for technologies. Somewhere along the way, the dam capitalists used machines to make more money for themselves and nothing for the people who did all the work. This is why we have this income inequality. Get the machines to serve everyone and all problems solved…….except the greedy power hungry people who wants to rule people.

  • Retrain workers…lol… The success rate of retraining workers is 0% – 15%. Plus those workers that gets displaced by automation, it's not like they will want to learn how to do coding and operates machinery, that goes especially for the average worker who is a 39 years old woman who is already comfortable with her retail or clerical job. Mr. Lee need to talk to Andrew Yang one-on-one. Andrew have a lot of data and numbers to support what Andrew is saying. Go Andrew Yang. #Yanggang

  • Twizted Dezign says:

    I'm tired of old fucks turning work retraining into a sexual fetish when there's not going to be work to be retrained for. Fuck these old fools and their old 18th century ways.

  • ThirtyOne Fifty says:

    We need someone like Andrew Yang who is forward thinking because guess what, time moves forwards not backwards.
    Real talk tho:
    Yang explained to Rogan that retraining is a step but it doesnt solve everything. He advocates that we shouldnt look at it as "oh you dont know what you are doing, here's how to do it" but more of "hey lets get down to what you are good at and arent, then implement what you know to succeed." What Andrew advocates in terms of work and school ethics fallow the Japanese ethics. Japanese people hire employees for long term and do not fire or retrain. Instead they find out what the worker is best at doing 110% every time, and make that their job. America has become so brainwashed that if oneself cannot do more than 1 thing then they are not beneficial to the company.

  • Routine jobs aren’t being replaced by AI?
    Has this guy ever been to auto plant, Amazon warehouse, McDonalds (kiosks),
    soon Truck drivers and other self driving vehicles.

  • So let’s get this straight. You want to re-train people who do routine work to do non-routine work. This would be jobs that require creativity? Am I missing something? What type of jobs are you talking about?

  • The unemployment rate is based on people looking for work. This is not stat that matters or that Andrew Yang is problem solving for. The job participation rate is 62%. That’s super low. This the whole point!

  • Aladdin - says:

    So what I should spend the entirety of my young adult life getting fucked and then when things are really bad hope someone like Andrew yang comes around?!

  • If jobs loss due to automation is happening now and will be worse as we are witnessing the closing of department stores around us, Sears, Macy …. , why is it ahead of time? Want to see more hungry people become homeless ?

  • Problem is to every 100 routine jobs being replaced on 1 or 2 non-routine jobs will be created.
    Andrew Yang is not ahead of his time. He's bringing everyone up to speed with the reality we're heading into. And AI is only going to continue aggressively speed up. We all know this intuitively and it's called Moore's Law.

  • We need yang to set the standers higher for the next group of politicians thats tries to run in 2024 seems like every politician just come with a voice, shitty plans ,and no real policy’s

  • Melissa Cunill says:

    No no no. This man has no idea what AI is capable of. Just look up radiology and AI. It’s fascinating actually. Machines don’t require healthcare, they don’t call in sick, they don’t need maternity leave, they don’t need bathroom breaks, they don’t file grievances, they don’t make mistakes and they can work 24 hours a day without a single complaint. AI is everywhere. Stop ignoring the facts. They are getting rid of fast food workers that take the order, bank tellers , call center workers, truck drivers, manufacturing jobs, and radiologist! It’s

  • Retraining unfortunately doesn't work very well. People need to move past the retraining method. There is just so much evidence that the government can efficiently retrain people.

  • I don't think Andrew Yang is ahead of his time. I also don't think job numbers are as low as they report because most people are working 2 jobs or are under employed. Second, automation is already here just ask the factory workers, truckers, retailers and not to mention touch screens/kiosk used to take your food order or other repetitive jobs. Some of these "repetitive" jobs employ special needs, older people who can't afford to retire and young adults still in school. How do you retrain them? I do believe in shifting focus into learning trade, software engineers, green jobs etc…but not all people are going to be able to do these jobs!

  • In any case AI and robotics will make impossible for the mass work economy to keep going on: we're already witnessing a massive wealth shift from work to capital because of technological advancements. A technological dividend is long due. "Jobs" won't provide enough income to adequately support the purchase power of the mass for very much longer. As a matter of facts, a chronic deficit of the aggregate demand and recursive private debt crisis have been already going on for sometime.

  • Also unemployment rate is a bs statistic: it only counts individuals who are LOOKING for a job. Labor participation rate is a much better statistic and is it an all time low in America – 68%. That’s the same percentage as Cuba.

  • I don’t agree with this guy. My wife and I are both college educated and combined we make over 100k a year. So quite a bit more than your average American statistically. We don’t do routine jobs. But my job is very specialized regarding environmental compliance. All my knowledge built up is around this topic. One shift in regulation (or deregulation)will change the whole industry. Basically I found myself in a niche industry. There are millions like me in niche industries. We talk about the retail workers and truck drivers but a guy like me also supports UBI because anything can happen and the niche industry can disappear. There’s no way a 40 year old guy like me will just be like become a computer programmer. I actually took a class of that in high school and was not that good at it. It’s not like I will be better now. Also I would still have to compete against people who do like and are good at computer programming. Just give me my UBI, at least with that I can keep my house.

  • I think retraining is an absurd idea.
    The problem is millions of jobs will be gone in 5 to 10 years. How do you retrain so many older people in that time frame?
    That's why universal income is important, and that is the only way to buffer the transition of the next decades.

  • Foundups Michael Trout says:

    Open Beneficial AI – #OBAI is coming via #blockchain and #bitcoin global reserve fund ushering #socapism learn — Social Capitalism is Coming – Un stoppable

  • Andrew Yang wants to give money to lazy people who don't want to work. Capitalism is about generating value. You deserve to be poor if you don't generate value!

  • Derek Van Gorder says:

    We need to go a step further than Lee, and re-think our assumption that maximizing employment is the goal. We've maximized employment already, and what was the result? Global pollution, climate change, and the destruction of culture by materialistic values. If robots can take over routine jobs, I say let them, and grant UBI so those who "lose" their jobs gain back their lives. We need to let individual human beings decide again for themselves what work is necessary in their community, instead of following purely what the corporate market dictates. Endlessly increasing productivity for its own sake will be terminal for our civilization.


  • Yang is not ahead of his time – he’s the first candidate I’ve ever seen that’s not 50 years BEHIND the times. The things he’s talking about should have been major talking points for every candidate of the past 20 years. Industry and policy is not the foundation of our economy anymore; it’s technology. Every industry is set to be eaten up by Silicon Valley, and he’s the first guy to wake the masses up to that fact. It’s about damn time!

  • A big concern I have with retraining a large portion of the work force is how effective the training will be, if there are enough jobs to go around for the displaced workers, and how long those jobs will be relevant. Currently we have a terrible track record for retraining workers for different fields with a 15% success rate. We need a UBI as soon as possible so that the population has a cushion. A UBI will be necessary to give us time to integrate new types of work into the economy. I'm hoping that automation brings a eutopia that lifts burdens off of humanity. More likely it will bring a dystopia of scarce resources for the people as the companies that control the automation will reap all the benefits.

  • What he is missing here is that eventually there will be no need to be retrained. There just won't be enough jobs to go around. Rather than create meaningless "jobs" to give people meaning, let's embrace the humanity first model of an economy as pushed by Yang. A person can be valuable just by being them, caring for a loved one, volunteering, etc. and society will support him or her to live a life in dignity. Those who can work in non-routine jobs of high value to society as a whole will still get more but not at the complete expense of all others (winners/losers end game of today).

  • It might have been helpful for Kai-Fu Lee to discuss how the unemployment figures are misleading and do no take into account people who have been unemployed for more than a year or have gone off the unemployment roles or who are under-employed. For example, the McDonald’s worker who has a Bachelor’s degree or higher, or the fry cook who can’t find a job after going to culinary school, the people working 2-3 jobs to pay the rent, etc, etc.

  • So i got done watching this clip and what was the next ad? yep for an AI personal assistant bot to manage ones stocks through Swabb. lmao when do we get our own algo that trade 24/7 for us

  • Yang is ahead of his time and ahead of the curve. If you watch the full joe organ podcast you can hear him talk about being ahead of the curve.Yang basically says that if the UBI is implemented too early it will indeed be expensive but won’t cripple our economy and will give people more than adequate time to adapt to the changing landscape of jobs and necessary skills needed to attain them. If we act to late then UBI itself will not be able to fix a deeply recessed economy that has very people able to find new career paths and opportunities. Basically $1000 a month right now gives people the opportunity to not worry as much about income and focus on their careers and skill sets. If people become unemployed then $1000 a month is not enough and they spend their entire time struggling to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. It’s not retraining that’s the focus here. It is economic stability for the working class citizens that would enable them to be the most efficient and skilled version of themselves. The middle class to needs to be able to make plans and move forward with long term financial and career goals. Most people work paycheck to paycheck and without a boost that will not be possible.

  • Jacob Lochynski says:

    Ok but that’s the whole point you can not retrain people just like that and specially people who perform physical jobs it takes a whole new generation to switch to IA jobs he’s wrong in my opinion

  • I agree retraining is great but that is why you give the UBI is because we can not predict what the new jobs will be or what the skill level the displaced workers can reach. Not everyone can build robots or code.

  • Training is part of the idea being put across but these ideas must be visible to voters in the form of reality videos whilst candidates support his ideas with true stories, which throws out hard facts that people relate to heart to heart.

  • Kai Fu Lee is from China. If Kai Fu Lee supports Andrew Yang(Taiwanese), Kai Fu Lee is going against Xi Jin Ping. That explains why Kai Fu Lee says Andrew is too early in AI.

  • The unemployment number does not reflect those who are no longer in the market looking for jobs. I agree with the notion that UBI as a policy is ahead of its time because there are so many existing policies and new programs the government can improve or create to serve the people in need. Inefficiency and bureaucracy are not enough to convince me that our government is not capable of adopting new technologies including AI to identify and help people. Besides, healthcare, taxes, climate change, regime wars, etc. should be addressed immediately ahead of UBI.

  • Unemployment numbers DON'T tell the FULL STORY.

    Look up on how unemployment data is calculated. You'll soon realize it is BS.

    * Unemployment in the US is calculated only by taking into consideration people ACTIVELY looking for jobs.

    People who don't work, don't want to work, and are not LOOKING for work, are not calculated in the unemployment data!

  • So he’s saying that Andrew Yang is right; but he’s delivering it in a way that makes it seem that Yang is a loon for wanting to try to fix the problem before it gets worse. 🤦🏻‍♀️

  • Karsten von Fluß says:

    Yang is not ahead of his time, he is perfect for this time it might seem he is ahead because too many people are left behind. YANG 2020!

  • Daryl Pettiford says:

    I don’t understand why preventing problems isn’t more important than solving problems in the realm of politics.

  • We need to focus on fighting the stigma that vocational school is bad so people will have careers in fields that can't and won't be automated.

    Germany has a vocational school rate after high school of 55% while the US is about at 5%.

    Think about that for a second. Yang has and has a policy to promote more vocational schools.

  • the unemployment ratio does not count people on welfare…. retraining has a 0-15% success rate; it is more efficient to simply give people money. Kroger will be automating all its warehouses to compete with Amazon. McDonalds will be automating all their cashiers next year. UPS has already been using self driving trucks.

  • Mr. Lee mistakes as assuming most of America is smart as a highly educated Asian. He lives in a bubble of very smart people and doesn't know the struggle out in midwest of high school education middle age retiring folks trying to survive. Andrew Yang actually lives and work with folks in those struggling community. He knows that you can't retrain them to be coders and CS engineer.

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