Stanford institute aims to improve humanity through AI

It will take input from virtually every discipline in the university.

Stanford is joining the rush to create AI research hubs, albeit with a slight twist. The university is opening the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI for short) with the goal of drawing input from across the university and across disciplines -- it wants input from the humanities, business, engineering and other fields in equal measure. It wants to be sure that AI provides a "better future for all of humanity" and addresses the "challenges and disruptions" they'll create for society, such as the effect of automation on the job market.

Faculty from all seven of Stanford's schools will be involved, and the university is working with companies in fields like finance, health care and manufacturing on top of the expected technological partnerships.

Importantly, Stanford is taking full advantage of its position in Silicon Valley's backyard. HAI's advisors include luminaries from Google and Microsoft, while its opening symposium on March 18th will include speakers like Bill Gates and DeepMind's Demis Hassabis. Some of the largest tech companies in the world could both shape the institute's direction and apply lessons learned to their own projects.