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Today we are proud to announce the first recipients of annual fellowships co-sponsored by the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence and the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships: Garance Burke and Pamela Chen.  

Beginning in September, the JSK Fellows will pursue a range of innovative journalism projects that seek to strengthen the profession. Throughout their 10 months at Stanford, the fellows will reach across disciplines to explore some of the industry’s biggest problems and open new opportunities for journalists and the communities they serve.

Burke and Chen will engage with the entire Stanford community focused on AI, experts in business, communication, computer science, engineering, journalism, law, medicine, political science, psychology, sociology, and more. They will participate in seminars and workshops for Stanford’s interdisciplinary community of HAI Fellows, contribute to AI research and outreach, and work with other JSK Fellows and alumni focused on artificial intelligence.

“Garance Burke and Pamela Chen bring diverse experience at the intersection of journalism and technology to our new partnership with Stanford HAI,” said Dawn Garcia, director of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships. “They impressed our selection panel with their deep belief in keeping people at the center of artificial intelligence, while being intellectually curious about its risks and its possibilities. Garance and Pamela will be effective representatives here at Stanford and in the broader world for fostering meaningful conversations about the ethics of AI and how it will shape our shared future.”

Garance Burke is currently an investigative reporter at The Associated Press. Recently she was named as part of a team of journalists who are now Pulitzer Prize finalists based on their work reporting on family separations and the treatment of children in immigrant detention centers at the southern U.S. border. Through her HAI/JSK Fellowship, Burke aims to serve an important need: equipping journalists to report deeply and thoughtfully about the potential challenges and opportunities of AI. Specifically, she will study the ways in which we can encourage more reporters to investigate algorithmic bias, while creating a new set of AP Stylebook standards offering journalists rigorous guidelines for inquiry. The fellowship committee was particularly impressed by her gravitas, curiosity, depth of experience and collaborative mindset.

Pamela Chen is currently a creative director at Instagram, where she has worked for five years. Through her HAI/JSK Fellowship, she plans to better understand the ways in which visual memes — images that carry ideas, behaviors, or styles — spread during news cycles and shape our views of reality within and across cultures. The fellowship selection committee was impressed by Chen’s experiences working in traditional news organizations, such as National Geographic, as well as at Instagram, an influential technology platform for visual storytelling. Chen has important experience working closely with engineers who think about and work on AI, and she is eager to ensure a human-centered approach.

The fellows receive stipends of $85,000, with supplements for families with children, and JSK also provides Stanford tuition, health insurance, and other support.

The Class of 2019-2020 joins a thriving JSK community. More than 1,000 people from over 80 countries have participated in journalism fellowships at Stanford since the program first began in 1966. Applications for the next cycle will open in September 2019.

The full announcement including all the JSK Fellowship recipients can be found here.