Opening the festival is a session on one of the most important developments of our time. Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to usher in a new age of affluence and leisure—but for whom? From Stanford's AI Lab, serial entrepreneur and bestselling author Jerry Kaplan introduces AI, proposes concrete measures for equitable distribution, and takes questions. "Humans Need Not Apply" was named a top ten business books of 2015 by the Economist, which called it "an intriguing, insightful and well-written look at how modern artificial intelligence, powering algorithms and robots, threatens jobs and may increase wealth inequalities." Jaron Lanier wrote that it's a "crucial book for understanding the great challenge of our times, which is how people can learn to live wisely with ever-greater technical ability."
Jerry Kaplan is widely known as a serial entrepreneur, Artificial Intelligence expert, technical innovator, bestselling author, and futurist. He co-founded four Silicon Valley startups, two of which became publicly traded companies. His non-fiction book, “Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure,” was named one of the top ten business books by Business Week. His latest book, “Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,” was selected by The Economist as one of the top ten science and technology books of 2015. Kaplan has been profiled in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Red Herring, and Upside, and is a frequent public speaker. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science, and is currently a Fellow at The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics. He also teaches Philosophy, Ethics, and Impact of Artificial Intelligence in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University.
Thomas Lee is a business columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is author of "Rebuilding Empires," a book on the future of big box retail in the digital age. "Rebuilding Empires" won a bronze medal in business commentary in the 2015 Axiom Business Book Awards.