(Originally published in Stanford News on December 16, 2019)
The Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence has added two new faculty associate directors to its leadership team: Michele Elam and Daniel Ho.
Elam is the William Robertson Coe Professor of Humanities in the English Department and the Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. Affiliated with the Center for Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity, she is also on the advisory boards of the Program in African & African American Studies and the Program in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She serves on the Director’s Council for the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the d.school).
Ho is the William Benjamin Scott and Luna M. Scott Professor of Law, professor of political science, a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and a faculty fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
“We are thrilled that Michele and Dan have agreed to take leadership roles within HAI,” said HAI Co-Director John Etchemendy. “Their backgrounds in the humanities, social science and law, as well as their history of interdisciplinary collaboration, make them ideal choices to support HAI’s mission of advancing AI research, education, policy and practice to improve the human condition.”
“Even as we maintain our emphasis on foundational research into the next generation of AI technologies and applications that augment human capabilities, the profound impact AI will have on people and society calls for broader and deeper collaboration across disciplines than we have seen in any previous technological revolution,” said Co-Director Fei-Fei Li. “Michele and Dan will bring important new perspectives and leadership into this discussion.”
Elam’s research in interdisciplinary humanities connects literature with the social sciences to examine changing cultural interpretations of gender and race. Her work is informed by the understanding that racial perception in particular impacts outcomes for health, wealth and social justice. Elam’s will help expand HAI’s engagement with humanities and arts – especially literature, film, theater, visual and graphic arts – particularly around issues of equity.
“Cultural narratives shape the public imagination about emerging technologies, and storytelling impacts, implicitly or explicitly, everything from product design to public policy,” Elam said. “I am excited to bring the study of the arts – both those engaging with and generated by AI technologies – to advance our understanding of the ‘human’ in human-centered AI. I am so honored and excited to join this truly interdisciplinary team.”
Ho’s scholarship centers on quantitative empirical legal studies, with a substantive focus on administrative law and regulatory policy, anti-discrimination law and courts. He is also the director of the Regulation, Evaluation and Governance Lab (RegLab) at Stanford, which partners with government agencies to design and evaluate programs, policies and technologies that modernize governance. With his background in policy, regulation and government use of AI, Ho will have a focus on promoting HAI’s engagement with local, national and global policymakers and governments.
“AI is one of the defining challenges of the next generation of law and governance,” Ho said. “I’m thrilled to be joining the HAI team to work on these critical questions at the intersection of law and technology.”
Read more on the HAI website.