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Directors’ Conversations

Directors’ Conversations are curated discussions between HAI Denning Co-Directors Fei-Fei Li and John Etchemendy and AI thought leaders working in academia, industry and civil society.

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We Must Democratize Ethics and Rethink Greedy Business Models

Susan Liautaud, Susan Liautaud & Associates, John Etchemendy, HAI Denning Co-Director

Susan Liautaud, author of the new book The Power of Ethics: How to Make Good Choices in a Complicated World, explains why ethics should never be confused with corporate social responsibility, how boards should be accountable for a company’s unethical business practices, and why the growth of corporate ethics boards offers great potential. She also shares her thoughts on the rise in employee activism and the need for the democratization of ethics. 

How Can We Better Regulate AI Companies?

Sonia Katyal, Co-Director, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology; Distinguished Haas Chair, John Etchemendy, HAI Denning Co-Director

A very small number of technology companies hold vast troves of data on us and are creating new and novel AI tools with that information. But how much accountability can we expect from these firms? Legal scholar Sonia Katyal discusses private regulation and government oversight, explains how trade secrets law has protected AI companies at the expense of the public, and shows how technology can play an important role in fostering inclusivity for LGBTQ communities. 

As AI Shifts Jobs, How Do We Prepare the Workforce?

James Manyika, senior partner at McKinsey & Co. and the chairman of the McKinsey Global Institute, Mary Kay Henry, International President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Fei-Fei Li, HAI Denning Co-Director

Too often our vision of the future of work involves robots and AI replacing our livelihoods. Instead, artificial intelligence will change our jobs, taking on key components that are better suited to automation. So how do workers, employers, and policymakers prepare for this future? These three leaders discuss the future of work, reskilling at scale, and drawing stakeholders into the conversation. 

What is Computation’s Role in Neuroscience?

William Newsome, Harman Family Provostial Professor of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the Vincent V.C. Woo Director of the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, Fei-Fei Li, HAI Denning Co-Director

In this Directors' Conversation, Fei-Fei Li and William Newsome discuss the role of computation in neuroscience, the challenges computational neuroscientists can address, whether understanding the brain at a molecular level can lead to better neural networks, AI’s motivation spectrum, and the complicated definition of consciousness when it comes to both natural intelligence and artificial.

Future of AI, Ethics, and Defense

Ash Carter, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School; former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Reid Hoffman, Partner, Greylock; HAI Advisory Council Member, Fei-Fei Li, HAI Denning Co-Director, Karen Kornbluh, Senior Fellow and Director, Digital Innovation and Democracy Initiative, German Marshall Fund of the United States

In this Council on Foreign Relations discussion, leaders in academia, industry, and government discuss the intersection of technology, defense, ethics, and the geopolitical competition for the future of innovation.

Is GPT-3 Intelligent? A Directors' Conversation with Oren Etzioni

John Etchemendy, HAI Denning Co-Director, Oren Etzioni, CEO, Allen Institute for AI

In this latest Directors’ Conversation, HAI Denning Co-Director John Etchemendy’s guest is Oren Etzioni, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence CEO, company founder, and professor of computer science. Here they discuss language prediction model GPT-3, a better approach to an AI Turing test, and real signs that we’re approaching AGI.

Ensuring American’s Innovation in Artificial Intelligence

Condoleezza Rice, Stanford Professor and Hoover Institution Fellow, Fei-Fei Li, HAI Denning Co-Director

Artificial intelligence has the potential to radically transform every industry and every society. Such profound changes offer great opportunities to improve the human condition for the better, but also pose unprecedented challenges. During this virtual conversation on June 30, 2020, Condoleezza Rice and HAI Denning Co-Director Fei-Fei Li discussed how to guide the future of AI in a responsible way.

The Future of Everything: AI Edition

John Etchemendy, HAI Denning Co-Director, Russ Altman, HAI Associate Director

While it’s easy to say that technology should be human-centered, what does that actually mean? HAI Co-Director and philosopher John Etchemendy discusses the future of AI, what to expect beyond today’s plans for driver-less cars and worker-less factories, and who will be impacted most. 

The Promises and Perils of AI

Fei-Fei Li, HAI Denning Co-Director, Yuval Noah Harari, Author, Russ Altman, HAI Associate Director

The rapid development and deployment of artificial intelligence may determine the fate of human agency and the prospects of democracy in the 21st century. Can AI be harnessed to support rather than subvert human interests, and to promote rather than undermine democracy? Author and historian Yuval Noah Harari joined AI scientist Fei-Fei Li, Co-Director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, for a conversation.

CRISPR, AI, and the Ethics of Scientific Discovery

Fei-Fei Li, HAI Denning Co-Director, Jennifer Doudna, Li Ka Shing Chancellor Chair Professor at the University of California, Berkeley

Twin revolutions at the start of the 21st century are shaking up the very idea of what it means to be human. Computer vision and image recognition are at the heart of the AI revolution. And CRISPR is a powerful new technique for genetic editing that allows humans to intervene in evolution. Jennifer Doudna and Fei-Fei Li, pioneering scientists in the fields of gene editing and artificial intelligence, respectively, discuss the ethics of scientific discovery.