In contrast, Li said in an interview with China Daily

 that we are already seeing people’s lives improved by, for example, shopping websites that help you fi

nd what you are looking for. “For people who are feeling that this is not science fiction, this is just Amazo

n showing me an ad or a bank giving me a loan. Just wait. In the next five or 10 years, we’ll see robotics and in the nex

t 10-20 years autonomous vehicles – and they will be magical,” he said.

“The atom part will take longer, but that will happen too. The hardes

t part today appears to be the atom side – robotics, autonomous vehicles, flying cars and thin

gs like that. Because the big breakthroughs have been just pure software.”

Ironically, Theil, the co-founder of PayPal and a lead investor in Fa

cebook and big data mining company Palantir, has said that we live in a financial age, rather

than a scientific and technological age. “It’s not clear it’s enough to bring our civilization to the next level.”

Most tellingly, Theil points out that the oligopolistic US tech giants – Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft – are each sitti

ng on billions of dollars of cash, but they can’t think of any technological opportunities where they can invest that money.

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