Oct 18, 2022 • 1HR 3M

#140: AI 2041, Sci-fi Writers in Web3, Chaoshan Culture and Chinese Philosophy & Metaphysics with Chen Qiufan

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Camellia Yang
Conversations between global citizens on culture observation, digital transformation and self-actualisation. Host Camellia Yang, a Chinese New Zealander, interviews people she met on her digital nomad journey who are on a unique path to creating a better future and shares the lessons and tips they learned. Season One (1 - 111 episodes) is in Chinese. Season Two (112 episodes - current) is in English.
Episode details

My guest today is Chen Qiufan, also known as Stanley Chan. He is an award-winning Chinese science fiction writer, columnist, and scriptwriter. Chen's fiction, described as "science fiction realism", focuses on individuals' internal struggles during times of accelerated change. And recently, he collaborated with Kai-Fu Lee to co-write and publish a novel called AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future.

We discussed:

  1. How did Qiufan and Kai-fu come up with the idea to co-write a sci-fi book, and what are some AI-related technologies mentioned in the book?

  2. How can we prepare for the future facing God-like AI technology such as DeepFake?

  3. What moral and ethical code should we consider when we can bring dead people “alive” using AI tools?

  4. What are some concerns about using AI arts creations tools like MidJourney?

  5. Should artists and writers be worried that AI will replace them in the future?

  6. How writers can embrace new technologies and build a new way to communicate with readers?

  7. What’s Chen Qiufan’s philosophy regarding creating his sci-fi stories compared with Liu Cixin (Three Body Problems)?

  8. A brief introduction to Chinese Chaoshan culture and Chinese New Year rituals.

  9. Do Chinese people have religions? What’s the relationship between religion and science?

  10. How ancient Chinese books and schools of thought inspired sci-fi creation?

  11. Briefly discuss psychedelic and human consciousness.

  12. What’s the meaning of life from a sci-fi writer’s perspective?

Books and Links mentioned in this episode: