Harvard Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series

Provably Beneficial Artificial Intelligence

Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley

Nov 17, 2022

As AI advances in capabilities and moves into the real world, its

potential to benefit humanity seems limitless. Yet we see serious

problems including racial and gender bias, manipulation by social

media, and an arms race in lethal autonomous weapons.  Looking further

ahead, Alan Turing predicted the eventual loss of human control over

machines that exceed human capabilities. I will argue that Turing was

right to express concern but wrong to think that doom is inevitable.

Instead, we need to develop a new kind of AI that is provably

beneficial to humans.


Speaker Bio

Stuart Russell is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley, holder of the Smith-Zadeh Chair in Engineering, and Director of the Center for Human-Compatible AI and the Kavli Center for Ethics, Science, and the Public. He is a recipient of the IJCAI Computers and Thought Award and Research Excellence Award and held the Chaire Blaise Pascal in Paris. In 2021 he received the OBE from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and gave the Reith Lectures. He is an Honorary Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, an Andrew Carnegie Fellow, and a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His book "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach" (with Peter Norvig) is the standard text in AI, used in 1500 universities in 135 countries. His research covers a wide range of topics in artificial intelligence, with a current emphasis on the long-term future of artificial intelligence and its relation to humanity. He has developed a new global seismic monitoring system for the nuclear-test-ban treaty and is currently working to ban lethal autonomous weapons.


Ariel Procaccia


Gina Franzetta