The Stanford professor and ‘godmother’ of artificial intelligence on why existential worries are not her priority, and her work to ensure the technology improves the human condition
Fei-Fei Li is a pioneer of modern artificial intelligence (AI). Her work provided a crucial ingredient – big data – for the deep learning breakthroughs that occurred in the early 2010s. Li’s new memoir, The Worlds I See, tells her story of finding her calling at the vanguard of the AI revolution and charts the development of the field from the inside. Li, 47, is a professor of computer science at Stanford University, where she specialises in computer vision. She is also a founding co-director of Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI), which focuses on AI research, education and policy to improve the human condition, and a founder of the nonprofit AI4ALL, which aims to increase the diversity of people building AI systems.