Briefing: Li Feifei to lead Stanford institute for ‘human-centered’ AI

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Stanford University launches the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence – Stanford University News

What happened: Former head of Google AI’s China Center Li Feifei will lead Stanford University’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence with the university’s former provost John Etchemendy. The institute aims to advance AI research, education, and policy in order to “improve the human condition.” It will focus on the societal impact of AI and designing applications to augment human capabilities, among others.

Why it’s important: The move comes amid broader concerns over the effects of AI on society. Li has been grappling with these concepts for some time. In early 2018, she wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in which she expressed her concern that enthusiasm for the technology is preventing a level-headed look at its effects on society. Leaders of some of China’s biggest tech companies have expressed similar opinions. At the Two Sessions, China’s annual meetings of its national legislative and political advisory bodies, Baidu CEO Robin Li and Tencent head Pony Ma called for ethical rules governing the development of AI. Robin Li also asked the government to participate in the global conversation about AI ethics.