Who we are

The AI Initiative is an initiative of The Future Society at Harvard Kennedy School dedicated to the rise of Artificial Intelligence.
Created in 2015, it gathers students, researchers, alumni, faculty and experts from Harvard and beyond, interested in understanding the consequences of the rise of Artificial Intelligence.
 Its mission is to help shape the global AI policy framework.

Recommendations

Improvements and convergences in machine learning and neurosciences combined with the availability of massive datasets and the ubiquity of high-performance scalable computing are propelling us into a new age of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The promise these developments hold is immense; so too are the risks.

 

These challenges require both immediate and future action. Computing systems are already outperforming humans in many tasks that profoundly shape our everyday lives in the fields of transportation, communication, energy, finance, healthcare as well as defense and security. There are clear upsides and opportunities, but the unintended socio-political consequences are serious, disrupting the fabric of our social contracts, sense of human identity, dignity, and considerations of agency and personal empowerment. Also visible on the horizon is the existential challenge posed by the possible emergence within this century of superintelligent machines, which would be vastly superior in scale and speed to a human brain or even a collective of brains.

 

While experts differ in their predictions as to the likelihood of this development, the velocity, complexity and magnitude of the current global race for Artificial Intelligence necessitates that leaders and policymakers begin developing a coherent and actionable response. Underestimating the impact of AI in the short, mid and long term is unwise and potentially dangerous.

 

CONVENE: Organize a yearly meeting that brings together an inclusive interdisciplinary working group of stakeholders (public and private sectors, academia, civil society) and experts that can interpret disruptive shifts in AI technology.

 

CREATE: Collaborate toward a global agreement on beneficial safeguards, transparency standards, design guidelines and confidence building measures.

 

IMPLEMENT: Help world policymakers from all branches of governments and associated stakeholders (corporations and civil society) implement agreed upon rules and regulations at local and international levels.

Governments & Policymakers

Because of its key role in enabling societal transformation using technology innovation, Silicon Valley is often believed to be the principal source of techno-scientific revolutions. Policymakers seem left behind corporations which increasingly set trends and rules. However governments have historically played and will continue to play a key role in spurring the rise of AI through the allocation of Research & Development budgets for defense, security, healthcare, science and technology (especially computer science and neuroscience), infrastructure (especially transport, energy and banking) and through pro-innovation policies as regulation of uses and applications..

The existing processes and tools of modern deliberation and international cooperation need to be leveraged. However, they may not be sufficient to help humanity drive the transformation in front of us. Growing our collective wisdom to confront the rise of AGI will require innovating new governance frameworks, processes and tools. Humanity will need to rely on a mix of artificial and collective intelligence. The “global multi-stakeholder regime complex” currently emerging to govern cyberspace and new forms of distributed autonomous organizations such as the blockchain infrastructure should serve as inspirations.

Team

  • Executive Team

  • Cyrus Hodes
    Cyrus Hodes Director
  • Nicolas Miailhe
    Nicolas Miailhe
  • Simon Mueller
    Simon Mueller
  • Senior Advisors

  • Joseph S. Nye Jr.
    Joseph S. Nye Jr.
  • Brice Lalonde
    Brice Lalonde
  • John C. Havens
    John C. Havens
  • Laurent Alexandre
    Laurent Alexandre
  • Geoff Mulgan
    Geoff Mulgan
  • Wendell Wallach
    Wendell Wallach
  • Nicolas Economou
    Nicolas Economou
  • Senior Scientific Advisors

  • James Waldo
    James Waldo
  • Illah R. Nourbakhsh
    Illah R. Nourbakhsh
  • Richard Mallah
    Richard Mallah
  • Bill Hibbard
    Bill Hibbard
  • Nell Watson
    Nell Watson
  • Advisors

  • Marc Goodman
    Marc Goodman
  • Anja Kaspersen
    Anja Kaspersen
  • Arisa Ema
    Arisa Ema
  • Sandro Gaycken
    Sandro Gaycken
  • Thomas Wingfield
    Thomas Wingfield
  • Jean-Marc Rickli
    Jean-Marc Rickli
  • Lydia Kostopoulos
    Lydia Kostopoulos
  • Manuel  Muñiz
    Manuel Muñiz
  • Stanley S. Byers
    Stanley S. Byers
  • Frank Escoubes
    Frank Escoubes
  • Daniel Beaulieu
    Daniel Beaulieu
  • Eleonore Pauwels
    Eleonore Pauwels
  • August Cole
    August Cole
  • Affiliates

  • Fredrik von Bothmer
    Fredrik von Bothmer
  • Ashley Heacock
    Ashley Heacock
  • Andy Palanysamy
    Andy Palanysamy
  • Hugo Zylberberg
    Hugo Zylberberg
  • Jessica Cussins
    Jessica Cussins
  • Pedro De Abreu
    Pedro De Abreu
  • Caroline Galvan
    Caroline Galvan
  • Tarig Hilal
    Tarig Hilal
  • Silvia Hennig
    Silvia Hennig
  • Maria Portela
    Maria Portela
  • Geoffrey Delcroix
    Geoffrey Delcroix
  • Soushiant Zanganehpour
    Soushiant Zanganehpour
  • Harold Begg
    Harold Begg
  • Brendan Roach
    Brendan Roach
  • Katharina Werner
    Katharina Werner
  • Léa Peersman Pujol
    Léa Peersman Pujol
  • Daniel Faggella
    Daniel Faggella
  • Esam Goodarzy
    Esam Goodarzy
  • Emilia Javorsky MD, MPH
    Emilia Javorsky MD, MPH
  • Marie-Therese Png
    Marie-Therese Png
  • David  Kervin
    David Kervin
  • Arohi Jain Rajvanshi
    Arohi Jain Rajvanshi
  • Shuang L. Frost
    Shuang L. Frost
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