2019-2020 Annual Report

Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence

Find out how HAI is advancing AI research, education, policy, and practice to improve the human condition.

Letter from the Denning Co-Directors

Artificial Intelligence will change lives in profound ways. We feel a collective responsibility to help guide this technology in a positive direction. To this end, in 2019 we founded the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) to advance AI research, education, policy, and practice to improve the human condition. We want to thank the many faculty and advisors who joined us in conceiving and creating the institute and helping to define its charter and scope.

Fei-Fei Li and John Etchemendy
Denning Co-Directors of the
Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI

Our growing community of researchers, scholars, fellows, students, and partners brings true diversity of thought to the critical question of how AI will affect our society. This is by nature multidisciplinary work that could not be undertaken without collaboration across many different academic departments, educational institutions, and civil society, government, and industry organizations.

As 2020 unfolded the world faced unprecedented challenges and disruption. At HAI we scarcely missed a beat, embracing each new challenge with flexibility and resolve. In many ways the online format proved liberating, allowing more rapid planning and execution of a wide range of workshops and events.

We are sincerely grateful for the support of faculty from all seven schools at Stanford as well as our extended community, our generous donors, advisors, and corporate members, and the dedicated HAI staff. As we look to the future, HAI will continue to build on Stanford’s strong culture of innovative research and long tradition of leadership in AI. Together with our ability to convene stakeholders from all sectors, we will continue to work toward a shared vision of AI that truly improves the human condition.

Exploring the full scope, scale, and impact of AI feels more urgent than ever in AY21. We look forward to continuing to work with you this year.

Fei-Fei Li's Signature
Fei-Fei Li
John Etchemendy's Signature
John Etchemendy

HAI by the Numbers

We measure our success by impact, not numbers. But we’d like to share some numbers we’re proud of.
Stanford faculty funded by HAI
Stanford departments represented by HAI faculty
Faculty, students, and fellows whose research is featured on the HAI blog
Issued in grants from the HAI launch to the end of 2020


Read about how our work spans three research areas: human intelligence, augmenting human capabilities, and human impact.
Photo: Drew Kelly


See how HAI has become a natural hub for policy impact in AI.


Learn about our multidisciplinary programs for high-impact decision makers, as well as emerging and future leaders.


Our community thrives on the energy and commitment of the many individuals who share a desire to responsibly guide the future of AI. From the leadership team and advisory council to faculty and fellows, who are supported by a dedicated group of staff members, all are essential to ensuring that we make continual progress toward our mission.

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Stanford Digital Economy Lab

The Stanford Digital Economy Lab brings together leading researchers and experts to examine how digital technologies are transforming work, organizations, and the economy.

Professor Erik Brynjolfsson joined Stanford in July 2020 to create the new Digital Economy Lab. Brynjolfsson is a widely cited thought-leader on the effects of information technologies on the economy and business. His new lab brings together researchers and experts to examine the economic implications of AI and other digital technologies—including employment, wages, business organization, productivity, and income inequality.

The lab’s research generates insights that can help companies, policymakers, researchers, and workers rise to the challenges created by an era of profound digitization. Current research themes include AI and the future of work, measuring the digital economy, and the economic impacts of COVID-19. The activities of the lab include research funding, seminars, lab meetings with postdocs and graduate students, and interactions with executives, policymakers and sponsors.

In June, Professor Brynjolfsson presented at the HAI COVD + AI the Road Ahead conference on "How COVID has Accelerated Automation in the Workplace." During his 25 years with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he published nine books, including The Second Machine Age, and wrote more than 100 academic articles.

Erik Brynjolfsson
Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Professor and Senior Fellow at HAI, Director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab, Ralph Landau Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), and professor, by courtesy, at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Department of Economics

Research Centers
& Partners

The work of HAI is only made possible through collaboration with labs, centers, and institutes across and beyond the Stanford campus, all of which are critical partners in achieving our mission.
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Centers & Partners

Members Program

HAI actively engages with companies that share our mission to advance AI research, education, policy, and practice to improve the human condition. To date, HAI has worked with industry stakeholders, including our Founding Corporate Members to foster dialogue and identify research and educational opportunities. In FY20, Google and Wells Fargo joined AWS and IBM as Founding Corporate Members. These efforts include collaborations with HAI partner research centers on topics including the future of work; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and AI applications in healthcare. We also distributed $2 million in AWS cloud credits across campus and began issuing Google cloud credits.


Events are a cornerstone of HAI’s offerings to the community, from Directors’ Conversations to weekly seminars to frequent workshops and large conferences. Our events program commenced with the 2019 HAI Symposium, the institute’s launch event. During the onset of the pandemic, HAI held two virtual conferences on COVID-19 and AI, which reached 85,000 viewers. Over the 2019-20 school year we held 14 workshops on topics such as AI and Ethics, AI and Cognition, and AI and International Security, and 35 virtual seminars covering the Future of Work, Machine Learning, AI Governance, and more.
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Philanthropic Support

Stanford HAI gratefully recognizes the generosity of those who provided founding support and make our work possible. This list reflects contributions made prior to August 31, 2020, and will be updated annually, per our fundraising policy.
Meet our supporters