The Policy Challenge of AI

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The Policy Challenge of AI Safety Conference” took place on Monday, April 15, 2024 at the Hoover Institute on the Stanford University campus. Watch the YouTube video recap here.

AI safety is an ongoing policy challenge that has prompted a wide spectrum of views ranging from existential fears to skeptical dismissals.

AI Advantage For Businesses:

AI is a powerful tool that offers a wide range of benefits from boosting efficiency to improving customer experiences efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

AI Safety For All:

The Hoover Institution has taken a leading position by hosting The Policy Challenge of AI Safety Conference to explore the catastrophic risk and benefits and tracking the actual policy.

All speakers listed below are currently working on policy initiatives, conducting initial risk assessments, and developing methods to evaluate frontier models.

Get the 2024 Stanford AI Index here.

Key Policy Challenges Surrounding AI Safety:

  • Accountability and Transparency: Ensure that AI systems are accountable to humans, and that their decision-making processes are transparent and understandable.
  • Fairness, Ethics, and Human Rights: Mitigate bias in AI systems, and ensure that they are used in a way that respects human rights and ethics
  • Global Governance and International Cooperation: Develop international policies and regulations that address the safety risks of AI.



Advanced AI Risk Factors: Presented by Yoshua Bengio

  • Can be deployed at scale: resulting harm could be global with no warning.
  • Safety evaluation not mature and can require significant effort
  • AI developers have little understanding of how capabilities are achieved
  • Failed attempts to prevent overtly harmful behaviors
  • Some capabilities are particularly concerning:
    • Autonomous goal-pursuit
    • Persuasion and manipulation
    • Hacking
    • R&D capabilities, helping develop (possibly harmful) AI


Risk may increase as models use tools: Presented by AI Safety Institute (The First Nine Months)

  • Automous systems, replication and improvement test
    • Very simple tasks: Find a specific piece of information in a paper/article
    • Medium tasks: Debug harder code/infrastructure issues
    • Hard tasks: Create a simple software project
    • Very hard tasks: Improve and agent codebase

These are just a few of the many challenges that policymakers are grappling with as AI technology continues to develop.

There are a number of organizations working on AI content safety issues, to stay connected follow &



Session One:  The Emerging Global Agendas for AI Safety


  • Marietje Schaake, International policy director, Stanford University Cyber Policy Center; International policy fellow, Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence
  • Philip Zelikow, Botha-Chan Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution


Session Two: The Evolving Understanding of Possible Concerns


  • Yoshua Bengio, Full Professor at Université de Montréal; Founder and Scientific Director of Mila – Quebec AI Institute
  • Elizabeth Kelly, Director of the U.S. Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Department of Commerce


Session Three: Theory to Practice: A Report from the World’s First AI Safety Institute


  • Henry De Zoete, Adviser to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister on AI
  • Ollie Ilott, Director of the AI Safety Institute
  • Jade Leung, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the AI Safety Institute


Session Four: AI Safety and the Private Sector


  • Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder Of LinkedIn, Co-Founder Of inflection AI, Partner at Greylock
  • Eric Schmidt, Former CEO & Chairman Of Google
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