Jack Ma, the founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (think of it as his country's Amazon), knows something about what it takes to succeed despite long odds. He grew up poor, failed his university entrance exams (twice), and was turned away from dozens of jobs. Now he's worth something like $29 billion.
What does he credit for his success?
In a recent talk at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum, he explained that while IQ is certainly helpful, and EQ is also beneficial for getting ahead, his rags to riches story was possible only because he possessed another extremely valuable quality -- LQ. "If you want to be respected, you need LQ," he told the assembled bigwigs.
Our secret weapon to beat the machines: LQ
What's LQ? It's "the quotient of love, which machines never have," Ma explained. In a world of rising technology, what will allow you to succeed isn't sheer mental horsepower -- computers will always be faster and more accurate, after all -- nor is it just basic EQ, like regulating your own emotions and recognizing others'. What sets humans apart is love, i.e. our feeling for justice, our creativity in the face of challenges, our ability to empathize deeply and respond wisely.
"A machine does not have a heart, [a] machine does not have soul, and [a] machine does not have a belief. Human being have the souls, have the belief, have the value; we are creative, we are showing that we can control the machines," he insisted.
The problem, according to Ma, is that we're training young people to try to outdo machines in areas where we'll never beat them. Instead, we should be nurturing children's LQ. "We have to teach our kids to be very, very innovative, very creative," Ma said. "In this way, we can create jobs for our own kids."
Unlike Elon Musk, Ma is optimistic about the future of humanity in an A.I.-filled world as long as we prepare the next generation properly by nurturing their souls as well as their analytic and computational skills. "Human beings should have the self-confidence," he concluded. "Human being[s] have the wisdom. Machine[s do] not have the wisdom."