What did Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Ma talk about this weekend?

Mark Zuckerberg never hides his interest in China.

With a photo of Zuckerberg and his bodyguards jogging past Tian’anmen Square in Beijing on a heavily polluted day Friday, Zuckerberg announced his arrival and sparked heated online discussion in the process. He continued to grab public attention as he met and had a dialogue with Chinese tech mogul Jack Ma, the chairman of the Chinese tech mammoth Alibaba Group, at the China Development Forum, a state-sponsored forum.

What did the two discuss? Have a look with AllChinaTech.

On innovation
When asked about his opinion of China’s next five-year development plan, which highlights innovation, Zuckerberg talked about innovation being dedicated to solving long-term problems. The three problems Facebook is trying to solve in the next ten years are internet connection, the development of artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Both then addressed their thoughts on AlphaGo’s game with Lee Sedol last week. Zuckerberg predicted that in the next five to ten years, there would be great leap for the development of AI. Ma, in contrast, emphasized that in the future, machines would be more powerful than human beings but that they wouldn’t be as smart.

On virtual reality
Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus in 2013 started the worldwide trend towards virtual reality. Zuckerberg also made several public appearances to support both Oculus and its partnership with Samsung on Gear VR. What does he think of VR’s development right now?

When asked about whether 2016 would be the year of virtual reality, Zuckerberg said 2016 would be the year of virtual reality in the consumer market. The next product, Zuckerberg said, would be something similar to smartphone applications. He also predicted that maybe in five to ten years, VR smartphones would be the mainstream of the market.

On impactful technology
Zuckerberg also talked about how he’s impressed by AlphaGo. He thinks that given more time, AI will be able to drive a car safer than human beings, and that it will also make an impact on healthcare, such as increasing accuracy and safety.

In contrast with Zuckerberg, Ma tended to talk more about philosophy rather than real circumstances. Ma said in the past three hundred years, humans have understand more about the universe, but less about ourselves. He believes that in the next three to four decades, human beings should get to understand ourselves better.

On advice for entrepreneurs
Both tech magnates also shed light on advice for entrepreneurs.

Zuckerberg suggested entrepreneurs should think of solving problems instead of founding a startup. He also called it “crazy” that many people in Silicon Valley founded a company even before they thought of what kind of problems they were going to address.

Ma, instead, was more encouraging. He said, if one had a dream, he won’t do it for money, but would rather sell his house to pursue his dream. He said, as a teacher, he hoped technology can make everybody’s life better.

AllTechAsia Staff

AllTechAsia is a startup media platform dedicated to providing the hottest news, data service and analysis on the tech and startup scene of Asian markets in English.

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