Launch event giveaway, China-US data analysis & SF Chronicle Review





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August 1 · Issue #51 · View online
Matt Sheehan's Newsletter
Friends and colleagues,
It’s been a hell of a busy month – researching, writing, recording podcasts, creating this website – and we’re now less than two weeks away from debut of my book:
For me that’s very exciting, and a little nerve-wracking but I’m glad you’re along for the journey here.
In this edition of the newsletter I’ll be:
  • Offering free tickets to the book launch party at Asia Society
  • Sharing my latest research comparing China-US data ecosystems
  • Highlighting a nice review of the book in the San Francisco Chronicle
Read on below for details!

Reminds me of slurping 凉面 in a Beijing alleyway on a hot summer day...
Reminds me of slurping 凉面 in a Beijing alleyway on a hot summer day...
Giving away two tickets to the book launch!
There are limited seats available to the book launch, and I’d love for some of those seats to go to readers of this newsletter, so I’m offering a little giveaway here:
If you pre-order a copy of the book, email me the receipt of your pre-order (screenshot, confirmation email, etc.), and I will randomly choose two lucky winners to receive a complimentary ticket to the book launch.
Those tickets are currently going for $25 each (and who knows what they’d go for on the black market!), so you’ll essentially be getting a 2-for1 deal on cost of the book.
You can make that order from Amazon here, and from IndieBound here. And yes, hardcover, Kindle and Audible purchases are all welcome. I’ll be picking the winners first thing Friday, so send me those order receipts:
Much Ado About Data: How the US & China Stack Up
In this piece I took on the much-hyped but under-scrutinized claim that China holds a huge AI advantage over the US because of the massive data generated by its population.
The reality is far more complex, because data is not a single-dimensional input into AI, something that China can just have “more” of. Instead, data is better understood as a key input with five different dimensions—quantity, depth, quality, diversity, and access—all of which affect what data can do for AI systems.
I build a new framework around these five dimensions of data, and then compare the US and China across each dimension. The result is (I hope) a more nuanced take on a key ingredient into AI ecosystems.
Lately I’ve been working on and publishing a series of pieces all working toward this same goal: replacing hand-wavy rhetoric of China-US AI capabilities with more granular, clear, and data-driven analysis. You can find more pieces in that vein on my new website.
Review of TPX in the San Francisco Chronicle
The San Francisco Chronicle recently published a nice review The Transpacific Experiment. My book is jointly reviewed alongside the new book by Larry Diamond, a Stanford political science professor who I saw lecture as an undergrad, and it capped off with this kind quote:
“Judging by his intelligent first book, Sheehan is a reporter we’ll look to in years ahead as we try to understand the nuances of the ever-shifting China-U.S. relationship.”
I feel very, very lucky to be a part of these conversations today. Through all my early years in China it was my dream to be able to give something back to our understanding of that country, and hopefully help these countries understand each other a little bit better.
Yea, we’re in the middle of some very tense times right now, and there’s no easy resolution to the problems dividing the two countries today. My hope is that by taking on this task of building understanding and providing clear, well-grounded analysis, all of us can together nudge things in a more positive direction.
Ok, that’s enough for now. If you’ve purchased the book and would like to attend the launch party go ahead and send me that receipt for a shot at a complimentary ticket! Talk soon!
- Matt
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