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Introducing New Faculty, Staff Leaders at Stanford HAI

As the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI) approaches its 5th anniversary, its impact has grown internally and externally. To assist that growth, HAI is thrilled to announce new faculty and staff leadership that will support the institute’s mission of advancing AI to improve the human condition.

Three remarkable associate directors will join the faculty leadership team: Julian Nyarko, Associate Professor at Stanford Law School; Ge Wang 王戈, Associate Professor at Stanford University in the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA); and Amy Zegart, Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies.

These faculty members will be joining HAI for the next three years to help guide the institute, bringing a multidisciplinary approach to HAI’s education, research, and policy efforts. Faculty associate directors dedicate tireless hours each quarter helping manage the strategic direction of HAI, leading HAI events, and offering their time and expertise for journalists, policymakers and more.

“So much of what HAI accomplishes is only possible through the strong leadership and vision of our faculty leaders, who bring a depth of knowledge and experience from their respective fields to the table,” said HAI Co-Director Fei-Fei Li. “Julian, Amy, and Ge’s expertise will be incredibly valuable as HAI moves forward into its next phase.”

Additionally, Stanford HAI has named Russell Wald as Deputy Director. In his former role as HAI’s Managing Director of Policy and Society, he established HAI’s policy and society initiative, engaged with policymakers at state, national and international levels, created the impactful congressional boot camp, and co authored several AI policy publications including Enhancing International Cooperation in AI Research: The Case for a Multilateral AI Research Institute and The Centrality of Data and Compute for AI Innovation: A Blueprint for a National Research Cloud. In his new role, he will oversee HAI’s research, education, policy, corporate programs, and administrative activities.

HAI’s New Associate Directors

Amy Zegart brings a wealth of experience and insights in the fields of U.S. intelligence, emerging technologies, and global political risk management. With a distinguished career at institutions like the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Hoover Institution, she is also a widely recognized author, with several award-winning books to her name, including her recent bestseller, “Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence.” Her expertise has been sought after by senior officials in the realm of intelligence and foreign policy, and she has a strong presence in the media. 

Learn more about her work in this recent conversation with HAI.

Ge Wang 王戈 has made significant contributions to the intersection of computer science and music, with a focus on interactive software design for music, mobile music, and the expressive design of virtual reality. Ge is the author of the ChucK music programming language and the founder of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk). His creative endeavors have reached millions of users, and he has been recognized as a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow. Ge’s work exemplifies the fusion of art and technology.

Read how he plans to interrogate HAI’s intentions.

Julian Nyarko brings his expertise in quantitative methods, natural language processing, and machine learning to the leadership team. His research delves into the intricacies of contract design under U.S. and international law, encompassing commercial and consumer contracts, smart contracts, and treaties. His collaborative efforts extend to scholars in various fields, enriching our understanding of legally relevant texts. His commitment to empirical law and economics has made a significant impact on the legal landscape.

In this conversation, he discusses the most promising areas of law and AI.

Thank You to HAI’s Outgoing Directors

Meanwhile, three associate directors are moving into new roles as HAI Senior Fellows: Michele Elam, the Martin Luther King, Jr Centennial Professor, Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Professor of English and Director of Curriculum at Stanford University; Daniel E. Ho, the William Benjamin Scott and Luna M. Scott Professor of Law at Stanford Law School; and Rob Reich, professor of political science and, by courtesy, professor of philosophy and at the Graduate School of Education. During their tenure with HAI, they helped shape the institute’s work and mission.

Michele organized a 2023 spring symposium focused on AI and art and prominently featuring the voices of artists most impacted. She also helped build Stanford’s Arts+Tech salons, and developed her popular AI+Arts+Activism course that has drawn students from CS, the arts, English, and more. 

Dan’s policy work has been instrumental at HAI. His research on building a National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) pushed this idea from concept to a proposal before Congress. As a member of the National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Commission and senior advisor on responsible AI to the U.S. Department of Labor, he has been a leading voice on thoughtful AI regulation and has spent hours testifying to Congress on HAI’s behalf. In addition, his research spanning from COVID tracing to IRS auditing algorithms has led to real-world change. 

Rob has been a leader in ethics of technology, helping develop Stanford’s Embedded Ethics program, pushing for an AI developer code of conduct, and writing or hosting important conversations around technology and the 2020 election, ChatGPT, and the future of education, AI and democracy, and more. Most recently, he met with President Joe Biden in San Francisco with HAI Co-Director Fei-Fei Li to discuss how the U.S. could take the lead on developing responsible, safe, and useful AI. Rob will be on sabbatical this academic year.

Many thanks to these outgoing directors for their many contributions, and warm welcome to HAI’s new directors. Together with the existing team of faculty directors, they will play a vital role in ensuring that HAI continues to address the complex challenges and opportunities that AI presents to society.

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Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama, a lifelong enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence, has been exploring technology and the digital realm since childhood. Known for his creative thinking, he's dedicated to improving AI experiences for all, making him a respected figure in the field. His passion, curiosity, and creativity drive advancements in the AI world.


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