Colin Garvey

A Zen Approach to Making AI Work for All of Us

Guest: Dr. Colin Shunryu Garvey

Stephen Hawking’s final message in posthumously published book called Brief Answers To The Big Questions, was this: If robots don’t get us, climate change will. Some big companies such as Amazon and Google are calling for the democratization of AI, not just to bring the benefit to the masses, but also to mitigate the risks.  Our guest for this episode has a different definition for democratizing AI, one beyond economic factors alone. 

Dr. Colin Shunryu Garvey, is a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and at Stanford University’s Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI). Trained in the interdisciplinary field of Science & Technology Studies (STS), his research examines technological risk governance through the lens of political decision theory, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a case study to understand how societies can more safely, fairly, and wisely steer controversial socio-technical systems. His view is that if we  are to avoid the potential downsides or calamities that AI has in store, we need to look at the problem with a fresh perspective but employ governance models developed for other potentially catastrophic technologies such as nuclear energy.  His perspective is informed by his rather unique background: he is also a Zen Buddhist monk. 

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