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Yuval Noah Harari in Conversation with Fei-Fei Li, Moderated by Nicholas Thompson

Yuval Noah Harari Talks AI at Stanford's Memorial Auditorium

The best-selling author and historian visited students before joining Fei-Fei Li in a discussion moderated by WIRED editor in chief Nicholas Thompson.

Is love hackable? How can today's artificial intelligence (AI) best serve us? Those were just two of the questions addressed during the April 22 conversation between AI theorist Yuval Noah Harari and computer science professor Fei-Fei Li, co-director of Stanford's Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI). The sold-out event was co-sponored by the Stanford Humanities Center, the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, and HAI.  

Yuval Noah Harari leads a student discussion at the Humanities Center (Image credit: Steve Castillo)

Prior to the public talk, however, Harari visited the Humanites Center for a Stanford student roundtable discussion. “Every generation thinks it’s special, but I think we are at a special time in history because we are acquiring the potential to change humanity itself,” Harari told the group during a wide-ranging talk. He touched on our reliance on the "bionic brain" (smart phones), the importance of free will, and the role of philosophy in our lives. “Philosophy is becoming more important than ever because it’s more practical than ever,” he said.

Harari's visit was part of the Humanities Center's Marta Sutton Weeks lecture series. A gift to endowment from Marta Sutton Weeks in 1987 provides funds to bring visiting distinguished lecturers to Stanford to engage in meaningful discussion on a wide variety of humanities topics.