Talks from the Hoover Institution
Ensuring America’s Innovation In Artificial Intelligence

Ensuring America’s Innovation In Artificial Intelligence

June 30, 2020

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Hoover Institution and the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) hosting Ensuring America’s Innovation in Artificial Intelligence with Condoleezza Rice and Dr. Fei-Fei Li on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 11AM PT/ 2PM ET.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to radically transform every industry and every society. Such profound changes offer great opportunities to improve the human condition for the better, but also pose unprecedented challenges. As this new era arrives, the creators and designers of AI must account for diversity of thought and ensure systems are built to properly reflect what it means to be human. Guiding the future of AI in a responsible way that translates American values of equality, opportunity and individual freedom will be paramount to ensuring our shared dream of creating a better future for all of humanity.

Contagion, Borders, And Scale: Lessons From Network Science And History

Contagion, Borders, And Scale: Lessons From Network Science And History

June 25, 2020
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Hoover Institution, Stanford University
 

Although pandemics are not rare in history, societies rarely remember history’s lessons for containing disease. Using network science and the history of the last two great plague pandemics in the 1340s and 1890s, this paper traces the evolution of various disease-fighting policies and evaluates their effectiveness. Policies are most effective when they disrupt disease transmission networks by erecting borders between communities—maritime quarantines, sanitary cordons, and blockades. In contrast, policies that target a pathogen’s geography have sizeable economic costs and often produce social unrest—public hygiene and sanitation, housing changes, lockdowns, and policing. The paper concludes that the epidemiological models used to guide COVID-19 policy inappropriately treat populations as homogeneous. Instead, whether Y. Pestis or COVID-19, policymakers should focus on understanding disease transmission networks—and how to disrupt them.

Manny Rincon-Cruz is a researcher at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, where he helped launch and currently serves as the executive director of the History Working Group. His research focuses on various aspects of monetary history, Chinese history, and network science. He has written about the social networks of power in the history of the American presidency, the role of collegial networks in the promotion or demotion of Chinese political elites, and is currently working on modeling the spread of the Nazi party in its first three years. Since January 2020, he has been working to better understand the spread and containment of COVID-19, whether in Taiwan or the US. He nonetheless remains keenly interested in how digital technology is transforming both our public sphere and our monetary systems, here and abroad.

Escape From Pandemics: Triumph Of Delusion?

Escape From Pandemics: Triumph Of Delusion?

June 11, 2020
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Hoover Institution, Stanford University
 

Humanity’s control over infectious disease – achieved by modern science, good policy, and economic growth – is one of the most remarkable successes of our species. But can a history of this triumph help us evaluate how fragile it is? And what does the COVID-19 pandemic look like in the long perspective of human control over infectious disease?

Kyle Harper is Professor of Classics and Letters and the Senior Vice President and Provost at his alma mater, the University of Oklahoma. A historian of Rome, Harper is the author of three books, Slavery in the Late Roman World, awarded the James Henry Breasted Prize; From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality, which received the Award for Excellence in Historical Studies from the American Academy of Religion; and The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire, which has been translated into 11 languages. His next project is a history of infectious disease, from human origins to the present, which will bring the natural sciences into conversation with the study of the human past.

The Darkside of Our Drone Future: Lessons from History

The Darkside of Our Drone Future: Lessons from History

June 4, 2020
Thursday, June 4, 2020
Hoover Institution, Stanford University
 

Much like in war, drones can take the place of a human on dangerous frontlines. During the COVID-19 crisis, drones have been used to resupply the vulnerable populations, help enforce lockdowns, screen people’s temperature, and deep clean a nation’s streets.  Predictably, policymakers and manufactures have pushed to relax restrictions to allow the rapid rollout of robotic technologies. Drawing on historical and contemporary examples of drone ‘misuse’, this talk explores the kinetic, biological, chemical and information security threats posed by drone technologies. Despite the newfound utility of the drone, there are real dangers to rapid relaxation and mass roll-out of drone technology at this time.

James Rogers is DIAS Assistant Professor in War Studies, within the Centre for War Studies, at SDU, and Associate Fellow within LSE IDEAS, at the London School of Economics. He is currently Special Advisor to the UK Parliament's All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drones, Special Advisor to the United Nations on state and non-state weapons development, and a UK MoD Defence Opinion Leader. He has previously been a Visiting Research Fellow at Stanford, Yale, and Oxford.

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