Home AI founder Kai-Fu Lee aims to give China its ChatGPT moment

AI founder Kai-Fu Lee aims to give China its ChatGPT moment


  • Kai-Fu Lee's 01.AI launching Wanzhi, a productivity assistant.
  • Wanzhi tailored for China, aids in documents, spreadsheets, presentations.
  • 01.AI led by Lee, aims to revolutionize productivity with AI 2.0.

The startup founder Kai-Fu Lee hopes his first artificial intelligence application for consumers will see China have its own ChatGPT moment as he aims to give Silicon Valley a run for its money.

His company, 01.AI, is soon to be launching a free productivity assistant called Wanzhi. This will help users create spreadsheets, documents, and slide presentations more quickly and is tailored towards the Chinese market.

It can take minutes for meetings, interpret reports, and speed-read books in both English and Chinese.

When speaking with Bloomberg, the entrepreneur explained why he’s so eager to create a tool with ChatGPT-like success: “…Until now, none of the Chinese chatbots or tools have been good enough.

“The year 2024 will be explosive for generative AI applications in China.” He explained how Americans have experienced the accelerated interest, adoption, and investment into AI “17 months ago.

“China’s users didn’t have a ChatGPT moment…”

What is 01.AI? The Unicorn-status startup

The founder of 0.1 AI, Kai-Fu Lee, headed Google in China before he started to focus on his own applications. He has worked at the likes of Microsoft and Apple too and is regularly considered to be an AI pioneer due to his work in the space.

In the company ‘about 01.AI’ section, they describe their vision as one that will “effectively enhance human productivity.

“The team behind 01.AI firmly believes that the new AI 2.0 driven by foundation model breakthrough is revolutionizing technology, platforms, and applications at all levels.”

The team encompasses 100 people and includes former employees from major brands in the United States and China. AI specialists and researchers who have previously worked at Google Brain, Microsoft Research Asia, Huawei, and more, are now working with 01.AI.

Since the inception of the company in March 2023 and within just eight months, the Chinese startup gained a $1 billion valuation – awarding it Unicorn status. This rare feat is achieved by privately owned startups that have a valuation exceeding $1 billion.

Featured Image: Photo by Edward He on Unsplash

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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