Fei-Fei Li, known as the “Godmother of A.I.,” has spent more than 20 years in the field of artificial intelligence, developing the groundbreaking technology and advocating for its use in ethical ways.
Li is currently in charge of the artificial intelligence lab at Stanford University. As a professor, she oversees a group of graduate students who are working on teaching robots to imitate human actions. Additionally, she is actively promoting the idea that all A.I. should be controlled by humans and has brought this message to Congress.
At the age of 47, Li is a strong supporter of implementing artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry. He has also provided guidance to President Joe Biden on the pressing requirement for increased funding from the government in order for the United States to take the lead in this technology.
Scientists at the University of Toronto developed a model that has influenced current A.I. models, such as ChatGPT, which are widely used today.
Li stated that encountering something ahead of its time is often indicative of uncharted territory. Looking back, our successful bets were based on our correct assumptions. Our belief in an A.I. approach focused on data was proven to be the correct one.
When Li is not focused on A.I. projects, she strives to increase the representation of individuals in the realm of artificial intelligence and technology. As one of the founders of AI4ALL, she advocates for greater inclusion in this industry.
Li stated that there is a lack of diversity in this technology. While there have been some improvements, such as an increase in the number of women, there is still a significant gap in representation for students from diverse backgrounds, particularly people of color.
Li is the writer of the book “The Worlds I See,” which tells the story of her challenging upbringing and journey from China to the United States as a young child, and her eventual success in her chosen field. Her path was not a straightforward one: She and her family moved to New Jersey, significantly altering her life, and she took on various jobs throughout her life, such as working at her parents’ dry cleaning business while in college and holding shifts at a Chinese restaurant for a meager wage of $2 per hour.
She expressed her confusion about the situation, stating that she was suddenly removed from her familiar surroundings. She also mentioned feeling overwhelmed by not knowing the language and facing various obstacles.
Those experiences helped mold Li into the groundbreaking technology leader she is today, and her hard work resulted in a nearly full ride to Princeton University, where she studied physics before earning a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology.
In her memoir, Li expresses her ongoing concerns about her involvement in artificial intelligence. She reflects on feeling partially responsible for the development of this technology, acknowledging its potential for both harm and innovation.
She stated that as we witness the effects of introducing this technology, some of them being unintentional, we, as scientists, technology leaders, and educators, have a greater responsibility than simply developing the technology. She also expressed that she does not want to give artificial intelligence itself the ability to act. Ultimately, the power is in the hands of those who use it.