Jun 21, 2017 - Economy

Jack Ma: "The next 30 years is going to be painful"

AP Photo/Daniel Chan

Alibaba founder Jack Ma is traveling the world to get people thinking and talking about the opportunities and risks that will come with the age of artificial intelligence and globalization. He told CNBC that he thinks the era of Apple, Google and Amazon ruling the market will end, AI will ultimately lead to shorter working hours and more travel, but that this third technology revolution could also lead to a third world war.

"If they do not move fast, there's going to be trouble. So when we see something is coming, we have to prepare now. My belief is that you have to repair the roof while it is still functioning."
  • When it comes to companies like Apple, Google and Amazon, Ma said, "Large scale was the model. Personalized, custom-made is the future."
  • "The way to figure out the job creation, one of the best ways, is to help small business to sell their local products across the board. And we have to prepare now. Because the next 30 years is going to be painful."
  • He thinks the Chinese middle class is a great market for made-in-America goods, pointing to Alibaba's sale of 2 million American-made tubes of lipstick in 15 minutes.
  • "I think in the next 30 years, people only work four hours a day and maybe four days a week. My grandfather worked 16 hours a day in the farmland and [thought he was] very busy. We work eight hours, five days a week and think we are very busy."
  • He also thinks people will be able to travel more.
  • "The first technology revolution caused World War I. The second technology revolution caused World War II. This is the third technology revolution."
  • "I don't think we should make machines like humans. We should make sure the machine can do things that human beings cannot do."
  • When it comes to robots taking over, "Humans will win."
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