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Human Impact Research Mission

To develop equitable and trustworthy technology, we must understand how AI interacts with humans as well as with vital social structures and institutions.

HAI’s multidisciplinary research on AI’s human impact aims to realize this vision. AI scientists, working alongside scholars across Stanford and other academic institutions, can take us far beyond superficial generalizations about “human vs. machine.”  Through deeper understanding, we can better address the myriad issues society will confront as AI systems become commonplace.

Scholars are currently studying the extent to which algorithms introduce, compound, or mitigate biases and risk; “responsibility gaps” between decisions made by machines and people; the use and misuse of AI for surveillance, population control, and waging war; and the impact of AI on social institutions, judicial systems, government, industry structure, labor markets, economic growth, and trade across nations. This research will inform engagement with industry, government, and civil society to help guide AI’s development.

Additional Research Areas

Augment Human Capabilities  Intelligence

Sample Research Projects

Correcting Gender and Ethnic Biases in AI Algorithms

James ZouLonda SchiebingerSerena Yeung and Carlos Bustamante

Machine learning algorithms can contain gender and ethnic biases. As AI becomes ubiquitous, such bias if uncorrected can lead to inequities in service and discrimination against specific populations. In this project, we will develop a AI auditing where we leverage machine learning to discover and correct its own biases. Our goal is to make AI audit an integral component of machine learning in industry and academia.

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Perceptions of Humanhood

Benoît Monin and Erik Santoro

Can logic remain at the core of what it means to be human if AI clearly surpasses humans at it? Will society redefine what is core to the human experience as humans lose ground to AI on cognitive abilities that traditionally enshrined humans at the top of the animal kingdom? Drawing on social psychological theory and using randomized control trial (RCT) experiments, we seek to understand and forecast how the increasing presence of AI in daily life will change perceptions of what it means to be human.

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