Institute for Human-Centered AI launched by Stanford University

New institute to work with global AI community and focus on guiding AI to benefit humanity


Stanford University has launched the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) which will attempt to study, guide and develop human-centered AI technologies and applications.

The cross-campus collaboration will aim to address pressing challenges presented by society entering into the age of AI. The institute will reach out to the global AI community to address societal issues that arise as the technology develops, as it attempts to "advance AI research, education, policy and practice to improve the human condition".

The institute will be led by John Etchemendy, professor of philosophy and former Stanford University provost, and Fei-Fei Li, professor of computer science and former director of the Stanford AI Lab (both pictured right*), and will partner with industry, governments and non-governmental organizations that share the goal of creating a better future for humanity through AI.

Li said that Stanford's depth of expertise across academic disciplines, as well as its history of collaboration with experts and stakeholders, meant the university provided the "ideal platform" for the new institute.

"AI is no longer just a technical field," Li noted. "If we're going to make the best decisions for our collective future, we need technologists, business leaders, educators, policy makers, journalists and other parts of society to be versed in AI, and to contribute their perspectives."

The institute has launched with 200 participating faculty from all seven of the university's schools, with plans in place to hire at least 20 new faculty staff from across a broad range of fields including humanities, engineering, medicine and the arts. HAI will house research fellows, convene groups of professionals to solve critical issues to humanity and distribute funding.

Among the organizations the institute will partner with will be AI Index, the Center for AI Safety and the Center for the Study of Language and Information.

John Etchemendy, who is also the Patrick Suppes Family Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, remarked: "The institute's biggest role will be to reach out to the global AI community, including universities, companies, governments and civil society, to help forecast and address issues that arise as this technology is rolled out.

"We do not believe we have answers to the many difficult questions raised by AI, but we are committed to convening the key stakeholders in an informed, fact-based quest to find those answers."


*Image credit: Drew Kelly, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence

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