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Program Directors:

Mailing Address:

Siebel Scholars Foundation
1300 Seaport Blvd., Suite 400
Redwood City, CA 94063


(650) 299-5260


Garry Kasparov

World Chess Champion and Chairman, Human Rights Foundation

Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in the Soviet Union in 1963, Garry Kasparov became the under-18 chess champion of the USSR at the age of 12 and the world under-20 champion at 17. He came to international fame at the age of 22 as the youngest world chess champion in history in 1985. Kasparov defended his title five times, including a legendary series of matches against arch-rival Anatoly Karpov, and he broke Bobby Fischer’s rating record in 1990. His famous matches against the IBM super-computer Deep Blue in 1996-97 were key to bringing artificial intelligence, and chess, into the mainstream.

Kasparov was one of the first prominent Soviets to call for democratic and market reforms and was an early supporter of Boris Yeltsin’s push to break up the Soviet Union. In 1990, he and his family escaped ethnic violence in his native Baku as the USSR collapsed. In 2005, Kasparov, in his 20th year as the world’s top-rated player, retired from professional chess to join the vanguard of the Russian pro-democracy movement. In 2012, Kasparov was named chairman of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF), succeeding Václav Havel. HRF promotes individual liberty worldwide and organizes the annual Oslo Freedom Forum. Facing imminent arrest during Putin’s crackdown, Kasparov moved from Moscow to New York City in 2013.

The US-based Kasparov Chess Foundation (KCF) promotes the teaching of chess in education systems around the world. Its program is already in use in schools across the United States, KCF also has centers in Brussels, Johannesburg, Singapore, Mexico City and the Adriatic. Garry and his wife Daria travel frequently to promote the proven benefits of chess in education and have toured Africa extensively.

Kasparov has written on Russia and politics for many major publications for 30 years, and is currently a regular contributor to The Washington Post. He speaks frequently to business audiences around the world on strategy, decision- making, and artificial intelligence. He is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Martin School with a focus on human-machine collaboration. In 2016, he was named a Security Ambassador by Avast Software, where he discusses cybersecurity and the digital future, and to the executive board of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics.

In 2017, he founded the Renew Democracy Initiative (RDI), dedicated to promoting the principles of the free world. The RDI essay collection Fight For Liberty! will be published in October 2018. Kasparov’s book How Life Imitates Chess on decision- making is available in over 20 languages. He is the author of two acclaimed series of chess books, My Great Predecessors and Modern Chess. Kasparov’s prescient 2015 book, Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped, is a blend of history, memoir, and analysis of the threats to the modern world order.

Kasparov’s latest book is Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins (2017). It reveals the full story of his legendary matches against Deep Blue and his optimistic and pragmatic discussion of our future with intelligent machines. His 2017 TED Talk on this theme was one of the event’s most popular. Kasparov states, “AI will transform everything we do, and we must press forward ambitiously in the one area robots cannot compete with humans: in dreaming big dreams. Our machines will help us achieve them. Instead of worrying about what machines can do, we should worry more about what they still cannot do.”

Alan S. Murray

President, Fortune

Alan Murray is President of Fortune, where he oversees editorial operations and is responsible for the company’s commitment to quality journalism and storytelling. He is focused on harnessing the collective power and scale of all Meredith’s brands to produce and distribute content on every platform. As editor-in-chief since 2014, he integrated the print and digital editorial teams, established new franchises and platforms, and helped significantly increase’s traffic.

His diverse background includes serving as president of the Pew Research Center, hosting an eponymous show on CNBC, and spending more than two decades at the Wall Street Journal, where his experience included overseeing digital operations and the Journal’s Washington bureau. The author of four books, Mr. Murray is also a member of the Gridiron Club and the New York Economics Club.

Ajay Agrawal

Creative Destruction Lab and Author, Prediction Machines

Ajay Agrawal is an award-winning professor, researcher, writer, and presenter on machine learning and the economics of artificial intelligence. Author of the book Prediction Machines and founder of University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab, Agrawal’s talks illuminate the incoming realities of AI; how machine prediction, stripped of all that noisy (and expensive) human thought, is on the verge of presenting us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the way we do business, run governments, and provide healthcare.

Dr. Agrawal comes at AI’s potential from the perspective of economics. Advances ,in AI and machine learning mean profound opportunities for innovation and investment. As founder of University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab, Agrawal unpacks the full potential of AI and machine prediction, without spin or jargon. His first book, Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence, provides a practical toolkit for anyone seeking to leverage the disruptive power of AI in the coming decades.

Professor Agrawal and his co-authors also describe the “Simple Economics of Machine Intelligence” in the Harvard Business Review online, and were co-organizers of the research session on the Economics of Artificial Intelligence at the American Economics Association annual conference in Chicago. Agrawal is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA.

As co-founder of NextAI, a not-for-profit, Agrawal helps young entrepreneurs and technologists explore new commercial opportunities that are a direct result of advances in AI He is also a co-founder of “Machine Learning and the Market for Intelligence,” an annual conference on the business of artificial intelligence. 

In addition, he is a co-founder of Kindred, a company that seeks to build machines with human-like intelligence.

Pedro Domingos

AI Expert and Author, ‍The Master Algorithm

Pedro Domingos is one of the world’s leading experts in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data. He is a professor of computer science at the University of Washington in Seattle and the author of The Master Algorithm. He is a winner of SIGKDD Innovation Award—the highest honor in data science—and a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. He has received a Fulbright Scholarship, a Sloan Fellowship, the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award, and numerous best paper awards.

Pedro is the author or co-author of over 200 research publications, and has given over 150 invited talks at conferences, universities, and research labs. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine in 1997 and co-founded the International Machine Learning Society in 2001. He has held visiting positions at Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and MIT. His research spans a wide variety of topics, including scaling learning algorithms to big data, maximizing word of mouth in social networks, unifying logic and probability, and deep learning.

Deirdre Mulligan

Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Information

Deirdre K. Mulligan is an Associate Professor in the School of Information at UC Berkeley, a faculty Director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, a co-organizer of the Algorithmic Fairness & Opacity Working Group, an affiliated faculty on the Hewlett funded Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, and a faculty advisor to the Center for Technology, Society & Policy. Mulligan’s research explores legal and technical means of protecting values such as privacy, freedom of expression, and fairness in emerging technical systems.

Her book, Privacy on the Ground: Driving Corporate Behavior in the United States and Europe, a study of privacy practices in large corporations in five countries, conducted with UC Berkeley Law Prof. Kenneth Bamberger was recently published by MIT Press. Mulligan and Bamberger received the 2016 International Association of Privacy Professionals Leadership Award for their research contributions to the field of privacy protection.

She is a member of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Information Science and Technology study group (ISAT); a board member of the Partnership on AI; and, a member of the National Academy of Science Forum on Cyber Resilience. She is past-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a leading advocacy organization protecting global online civil liberties and human rights; a founding member of the standing committee for the AI 100 project; and a founding member of the Global Network Initiative, a multi-stakeholder initiative to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector, and in particular to resist government efforts to use the ICT sector to engage in censorship and surveillance in violation of international human rights standards.

Mark Nehmer

Director, R&D and Tech Transfer DSE/FVE PEO (Acting), Defense Security Service

Mark Nehmer is the (Acting) Director, Research & Development (R&D) and Technology Transfer for the Defense Security Enterprise (DSE) / Federal Vetting Enterprise (FVE) Program Executive Office (PEO), Defense Security Service (DSS), in Quantico, VA. The DSS mission is to support national security and the warfighter by securing the nation’s technological base, and overseeing the protection of U.S. and foreign classified information in the hands of industry.

DSE/ FVE PEO is a new R&D and agile technical capability delivery organization that supports and enables security and counterintelligence missions across the DoD enterprise and the vetting-related missions across the Federal Government. Mr. Nehmer has had responsibility for managing projects and initiatives that covered the entire spectrum of technology and process related activities necessary for establishment of the Defense Vetting Directorate within DSS. He is now responsible for research agenda and technology transfer to program requirements with a focus on practical application of artificial intelligence and other advanced capabilities.

Prior to joining DSS, Mr. Nehmer was the J65 Division Chief, Risk Management/C4 Analysis and Strategy, United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), responsible for analysis of current and future DoD and Federal risk management and C4 instructions, directives and implementations, and development of strategies for and on behalf of the USCYBERCOM J6, Command and DoD leadership teams.

Naveen Rao

VP & GM, Artificial Intelligence Product Group, Intel

Naveen G. Rao is Vice President and General Manager of the Artificial Intelligence Products Group at Intel Corporation. Rao’s team focuses on deep learning, a subset of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and works to develop the hardware and software ingredients needed to enable its scalable deployment. Intel uses deep learning to accelerate complex, data-intensive processes, such as image recognition and natural language processing, to improve the performance of Intel® Xeon® and Intel® Xeon PhiTM processors in various business segments, including autonomous driving and personalized medicine.

Trained as both a computer architect and neuroscientist, Rao joined Intel in 2016 with the acquisition of Nervana Systems. As chief executive officer and co-founder of Nervana, he led the company to become a recognized leader in the deep learning field. Before founding Nervana in 2014, Rao was a neuromorphic machines researcher at Qualcomm Inc., where he focused on neural computation and learning in artificial systems. Rao’s earlier career included engineering roles at Kealia Inc., CALY Networks and Sun Microsystems Inc.

Max Tegmark

Author, Life 3.0‍

Max Tegmark is a Professor doing physics and AI research at MIT. He is President of the Future of Life Institute and Scientific Director of the Foundational Questions Institute. His research has ranged from cosmology to the physics of cognitive systems, and is currently focused at the interface between physics, AI and neuroscience.

He is the author of over 200 publications and the books Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality. His work with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey on galaxy clustering shared the first prize in Science magazine’s Breakthrough of the Year: 2003. A native of Stockholm, Tegmark left Sweden in 1990 after receiving his B.Sc. in Physics from the Royal Institute of Technology
(he’d earned a B.A. in Economics the previous year at the Stockholm School of Economics). His first academic venture beyond Scandinavia brought him to California, where he studied physics at the University of California, Berkeley, earning his M.A. in 1992, and Ph.D. in 1994.

After four years of west coast living, Tegmark returned to Europe and accepted an appointment as a research associate with the Max-Planck-Institut für Physik in Munich. In 1996 he headed back to the U.S. as a Hubble Fellow and member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Tegmark remained in New Jersey for a few years until an opportunity arrived to experience the urban northeast with an Assistant Professorship at the University
of Pennsylvania, where he received tenure in 2003. He extended the east coast experiment and moved north of Philly to the shores of the Charles River (Cambridge- side), arriving at MIT in September 2004. He is married to Meia-Chita Tegmark and has two sons, Philip and Alexander.

Tegmark is an author on more than two hundred technical papers, and has featured in dozens of science documentaries. He has received numerous awards for his research, including a Packard Fellowship (2001-06), Cottrell Scholar Award (2002-07), and an NSF Career grant (2002-07), and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

About the 2018 Conference

The era of artificial intelligence is upon us. With great promises of human benefit and prosperity, AI is being rapidly applied in critical societal domains including healthcare, transportation, education, entertainment, government, and public safety. While it is clear that considerable social and economic benefits will result, there are and will be negative implications that need to be anticipated and addressed. Such implications include privacy, security, cyber security, identity theft, weaponization of social media and AI, and the many ways in which bad actors will attempt to gain control of and influence such systems to dire effect.

With the speed of AI innovation moving faster than regulatory checks and balances can keep up, debate around the unwelcomed and potentially detrimental consequences related to personal privacy, security, safety and more has ramped up. The 2018 Siebel Scholars Conference brought together distinguished leaders to discuss the social implications of AI and collaborate on solutions to mitigate the risks. They debated the societal and ethical implications of artificial intelligence, exposed the dangers and illuminated the opportunities where AI can have the greatest impact.

The conference began on the evening of Friday, November 2, at the Siebel Estate, where Alan S. Murray, President of Fortune Magazine, engaged in a fireside chat with Garry Kasparov. Dinner with the Siebel Scholars, speakers, and special guests followed and the night culminated with a spectacular drone show. 

On Saturday, November 3, Siebel Scholars and conference speakers engaged in two highly interactive panel discussions, both moderated by Alan, at the CEMEX Auditorium at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA.

The morning panel topic was “AI: What’s the Catch?” featuring Ajay Agrawal, Creative Destruction Lab and  Author, Prediction Machines; Garry Kasparov, World Chess Champion and  Chairman, Human Rights Foundation; Deirdre Mulligan, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Information; and Naveen Rao, VP & GM, Artificial Intelligence Product Group, Intel.

After a luncheon at the Vidalakis Dining Hall, Stanford Graduate School of Business, the afternoon topic, “Weaponized AI: Promise or Peril?” featured a fiery debate between Pedro Domingos, AI Expert and Author,  ‍The Master Algorithm; Mark Nehmer, Director, R&D and Tech Transfer DSE/FVE PEO (Acting), Defense Security Service; and Max Tegmark, Author, Life 3.0‍. 

Conference attendees and speakers celebrated Saturday evening at a reception and were entertained by a founding member of the Eagles, Don Henley. Several AI installations greeted them, along with a robot-led mural installation. 

Sunday November 4, the final day of the program, was dedicated to the power of collaboration. Siebel Scholars worked in breakout groups to develop recommendations to be adopted in public policy, corporate governance and/or legislation for the most problematic aspects of AI. Teams presented their ideas to the group for broader discussion and continue to work in groups to prepare papers on their findings. 

Event Photos:

Opening Video: