The Hoover Institution invites you to The Policy Challenge of AI Safety on Monday, April 15, 2024, from 1:00 – 5:45 PM in Hauck Auditorium, David & Joan Traitel Building. Hosted by the Hoover Institution and Stanford HAI.

Rapidly advancing AI has prompted a wide spectrum of views about AI safety, ranging from existential fears to skeptical dismissals of “doomers.” Meanwhile, few are tracking the actual policy work that is starting to address these concerns. As the first day of a set of discussions about AI and society, the Hoover Institution is hosting a symposium on AI safety and catastrophic risk. Our speakers are those who are actually working on policy initiatives, conducting initial risk assessments, and developing methods to evaluate frontier models. We will discuss and illustrate the state of global work and the way leading companies are comprehending the policy challenge. This half-day forum will help inform participants as they navigate the risks and analyze how to sustain fruitful innovation and openness. 

Policy Challenges
Time  Content Speakers

1:00 – 1:05 PM



1:05 – 2:05 PM

The Emerging Global Agendas for AI Safety

Marietje Schaake, International policy director, Stanford University Cyber Policy Center; International policy fellow, Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence

Philip Zelikow, Botha-Chan Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

2:05 – 2:15 PM



2:15 – 3:15 PM

The Evolving Understanding of Possible Concerns

Yoshua Bengio, Full Professor at Université de Montréal; Founder and Scientific Director of Mila – Quebec AI Institute
Elizabeth Kelly, Director of the U.S. Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Department of Commerce

3:15 – 3:30 PM



3:30 – 4:30 PM

Theory to Practice: A Report from the World’s First AI Safety Institute

Henry De Zoete, Adviser to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister on AI

Ollie Ilott, Director of the AI Safety Institute

Jade Leung, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the AI Safety Institute

4:30 – 4:45 PM



4:45 – 5:45 PM

AI Safety and the Private Sector

Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn; 
Co-Founder of Inflection AI; 
Partner at Greylock

Eric Schmidt, Former CEO & Chairman of Google


Speaker Bios

Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt is an accomplished technologist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He joined Google in 2001 and helped grow the company from a Silicon Valley startup to a global leader in technology alongside founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Eric served as Google’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman from 2001-2011, as well as Executive Chairman and Technical Advisor. Under his leadership, Google dramatically scaled its infrastructure and diversified its product offerings while maintaining a strong culture of innovation. Eric founded the Special Competitive Studies Project in 2021, a non-profit initiative focused on strengthening America’s long-term AI and technological competitiveness in national security, the economy, and society.

Reid Hoffman

Reid Hoffman is the co-founder of LinkedIn, co-founder of Inflection AI and a partner at Greylock. He currently serves on the boards of companies such as Aurora, Coda, Entrepreneur First, Joby, Microsoft, and Nauto. He also serves on nonprofit boards, such as Kiva, Endeavor, CZI Biohub, New America, Opportunity@Work, the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI, and the MacArthur Foundation’s Lever for Change. He is the host of the Masters of Scale podcast as well as the Possible podcast. He is the co-author of five best-selling books: The Startup of You, The Alliance, Blitzscaling, Masters of Scale, and Impromptu. He earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a bachelor’s degree with distinction in symbolic systems from Stanford University

Philip Zelikow

Philip Zelikow is the Botha-Chan Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. For 25 years he held a chaired professorship in history at the University of Virginia. For seven years before that, he was an associate professor at Harvard University.
In his scholarship, Zelikow focuses on critical episodes in world history and the challenges of policy design and statecraft. His most recent book is The Road Less Traveled: The Secret Turning Point of the Great War, 1916-17 (2021).
An attorney and former career diplomat, Zelikow's federal service includes work across the government in the five administrations from Reagan through Obama, and is a strategic consultant for the current Biden administration.  On the NSC Staff (1989-91) he took part in the diplomacy to unify Germany and end the Cold War. As Counselor of the Department of State (2005-07) he had deputy-level policy responsibilities on issues around the world. He is one of few Americans to have served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board for presidents from both political parties.
Zelikow has also directed three successful and bipartisan national commissions: the Carter-Ford commission on federal election reform (2001), the 9/11 Commission (2004), and the Covid Crisis Group. That group's acclaimed report, Lessons from the Covid War, was published in April 2023.

Yoshua Bengio

Yoshua Bengio is Full Professor at Université de Montréal, and the Founder and Scientific Director of Mila – Quebec AI Institute. He co-directs the CIFAR Learning in Machines & Brains program as Senior Fellow and acts as Scientific Director of IVADO and holds a Canada CIFAR AI Chair.
Recognized worldwide as one of the leading experts in AI, he is most known for his pioneering work in deep learning, earning him the 2018 A.M. Turing Award, “the Nobel Prize of Computing,” with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun. 
In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious Killam Prize. He is the computer scientist with the greatest number of citations, the highest h-index and ranked third among all disciplines by scientific impact according to the Stanford bibliometric study. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of London and Canada, ACM Fellow, Knight of the Legion of Honor of France, Officer of the Order of Canada, recipient of the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, Member of the UN’s Scientific Advisory Board for Independent Advice on Breakthroughs in Science and Technology and and Scientific advisor for the UK AI Safety Institute. Concerned about the social impact of AI, Yoshua actively contributed to the Montreal Declaration for the Responsible Development of Artificial Intelligence.

Henry De Zoete

Henry de Zoete has been the Adviser to the UK Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister on Artificial Intelligence in Number 10 Downing Street since June 2023. In that role he supported the PM and DPM on the UK Government's approach on AI, the Bletchley AI Safety Summit and setting up the UK's AI Safety Institute. Previously he founded and sold a Y Combinator backed start up. He has had numerous roles on the boards of government organisations and public companies. He has been a non-executive board member of the UK Government department the Cabinet Office since 2020.

Oliver Ilott

Ollie Ilott is the Director of the UK’s AI Safety Institute. He previously ran the Prime Minister’s private office in No10, set up the Government’s COVID strategy team, and was a Brexit negotiator.  


Elizabeth Kelly

Elizabeth Kelly is Director of the U.S. Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Prior to joining the Safety Institute, Elizabeth served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the White House National Economic Council, where she helped lead the Administration's efforts on financial regulation and technology policy, including artificial intelligence. Elizabeth was a driving force behind the domestic components of the AI executive order, spearheading efforts to promote competition, protect privacy, and support workers and consumer, and helped lead Administration engagement with allies and partners on AI governance. She previously served as a senior policy advisor on the Biden-Harris Transition Team and in the Obama White House. In the private sector, Elizabeth was Senior Vice President of Growth for Capital One Investing, which acquired United Income, a fintech start-up that she helped grow as SVP of Operations.Elizabeth holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, an MSc in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford, and a B.A. from Duke University.

Jade Leung

Jade Leung is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the AI Safety Institute. She leads the institute’s technical work and team, with a particular focus on testing and evaluation for the next generations of frontier AI models. Previously Jade led the Governance team at OpenAI, where she led the company’s work on safety standards, international cooperation, and regulatory approaches for the most advanced AI systems. She co-founded the Centre of the Governance of AI at the University of Oxford, and was a Partner at Apollo Projects working directly with Sam Altman (OpenAI CEO) on early stage investing and special projects in deep tech. She completed her PhD in AI governance at the University of Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship.

Marietje Schaake

Marietje Schaake is international policy director at Stanford University Cyber Policy Center and international policy fellow at Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence.
Between 2009 and 2019, she served as a Member of European Parliament for the Dutch liberal democratic party where she focused on trade, foreign affairs, and technology policies. She writes a monthly column for the Financial Times and serves on the UN’s AI Advisory Body.
Schaake is an (Advisory) Board Member with a number of non-profits including MERICS, ECFR, ORF and AccessNow.

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