Spies, Lies, And Algorithms: A Conversation With Amy Zegart And Condoleezza Rice

interview with Amy Zegart, Condoleezza Rice
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
The Hoover Institution hosts Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: A Conversation with Amy Zegart and Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday, February 22 from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. PT

Please join us for a conversation with Amy Zegart as part of her tour with her new book Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence. The conversation will be moderated by Director Condoleezza Rice with an introduction by Michael McFaul.

“Today we face a critical juncture for American spy agencies, as big as 9/11 — only most people don’t know it,” says Amy B. Zegart, one of the country’s leading experts on intelligence and a professor at Stanford University. “New dangers come from tech, not terrorists. Emerging technologies like AI and social media are weakening the strong and empowering the weak, fundamentally changing dynamics of international conflict. To be blunt: The U.S. is losing its intelligence advantage.”

To help us better understand these looming threats, Zegart has written Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence (Princeton University Press; February 1, 2022). It’s the first comprehensive book on the past, present, and future of American intelligence—and outlines what’s urgently needed to protect our nation today. The book draws on over thirty years of research (including new research just for this book) and hundreds of interviews with current and former intelligence officials. 

Weak intelligence makes us more vulnerable to attacks on our power grids, water supply, elections, corporate network servers, and nuclear weapons. Helping the American public better understand these evolving threats is crucial.

Amy Zegart is the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy) at Stanford University. She is also a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Chair of Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence and International Security Steering Committee, and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. She specializes in U.S. intelligence, emerging technologies and national security, grand strategy, and global political risk management. The author of five books, Zegart’s award-winning research includes the leading academic study of intelligence failures before 9/11 — Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11 (Princeton 2007). Her forthcoming book, Spies, Lies, and Algorithms (Princeton 2022) examines technological challenges to American intelligence. Zegart’s research has been published in The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. She has served on the NSC staff, advised senior officials about intelligence and foreign policy, and most recently served as a commissioner on the 2020 CSIS Technology and Intelligence Task Force. She received an A.B. in East Asian studies magna cum laude from Harvard University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University.

Condoleezza Rice is the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and its Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy. She is also a founding partner of Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC, an international strategic consulting firm. Rice currently serves on the board of online-storage technology company Dropbox, energy software company C3, and Makena Capital, a private endowment firm; and is a member of the boards of the George W. Bush Institute, the Commonwealth Club, the Aspen Institute, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Previously, Rice served on various additional boards, including those of KiOR Inc., the Chevron Corporation, the Charles Schwab Corporation, the Transamerica Corporation, the Hewlett-Packard Company, the University of Notre Dame, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,and the San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors. From 2005 to 2009, Rice served as the sixty-sixth secretary of state of the United States, the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post. Rice also served as assistant to the president for National Security Affairs for President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005, the first woman to hold this position.

Michael A. McFaul is the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution as well as a professor of political science, director and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He also currently works as a news analyst for NBC.  His areas of expertise include international relations, Russian politics, comparative democratization, and American foreign policy.  From January 2012 to February 2014, he served as the US ambassador to the Russian Federation.  Before becoming ambassador, he served for three years as a special assistant to the president and senior director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council. 

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