Yuval Noah Harari in Conversation with Fei-Fei Li | The Coming AI Upheaval

This is an Archive of a Past Event
Moderated by Nicholas Thompson

The rapid development and deployment of artificial intelligence may determine the fate of human agency and the prospects of democracy in the 21st century. Can AI be harnessed to support rather than subvert human interests, and to promote rather than undermine democracy? Join best-selling author and historian Yuval Noah Harari and renowned AI scientist Fei-Fei Li for a conversation with Nicholas Thompson, editor in chief of WIRED magazine.

Yuval Noah Harari, a professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is the bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. His current research focuses on macro-historical questions: What is the relationship between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded? What ethical questions do science and technology raise in the 21st century?

Fei-Fei Li is a professor in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University, and codirects Stanford’s newly launched Human-Centered AI Institute (HAI). She directed Stanford’s AI Lab from 2013 to 2018, and during her sabbatical from Stanford from January 2017 to September 2018, she was Vice President at Google and served as Chief Scientist of AI/ML at Google Cloud. Li’s main research areas are in machine learning, deep learning, computer vision and cognitive and computational neuroscience. She is the inventor of ImageNet and the ImageNet Challenge, a critical large-scale dataset and benchmarking effort that has contributed to the latest developments in deep learning and AI.

Nicholas Thompson is editor-in-chief at WIRED, a position he has held since January 2017. Prior to that, Mr. Thompson served as the editor of newyorker.com from 2012 to 2017. He is a contributor for CBS News and regularly appears on CBS This Morning and CBSN. He is a cofounder of The Atavist, a National Magazine Award–winning digital publication. Mr. Thompson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former fellow in the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. He was a United States Truman Scholar and graduated from Stanford University.


Marta Sutton Weeks Lectures | A gift to endowment from Marta Sutton Weeks in 1987 provides funds to bring visiting distinguished lecturers to Stanford University for stays varying in duration from one week up to one quarter. The visitors join the Stanford Community to engage in meaningful discussion on a wide variety of humanities topics.