Stuart Russell

Stuart J. Russell

Title
Professor
Department
Division of Computer Science/EECS
Research Expertise and Interest
artificial intelligence, computational biology, algorithms, machine learning, real-time decision-making, probabilistic reasoning
Research Description

Stuart Russell received his BA with first-class honours in Physics from Oxford in 1982, his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford in 1986, and then joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley. He is a Professor (and former Chair) of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and holds the Smith--Zadeh Chair in Engineering.  He is a fellow of AAAI, ACM, and AAAS; winner of the Computers and Thought Award and the Outstanding Educator Award from both ACM and AAAI; and holder from 2012 to 2014 of the Chaire Blaise Pascal and ANR senior Chaire d'excellence in Paris.  In 2019 he was selected as an Andrew Carnegie Senior Fellow. His book "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach" (with Peter Norvig) is the standard text in AI; it has been translated into 14 languages and is used in over 1400 universities in 128 countries. His research covers many areas of artificial intelligence, with a particular focus on machine learning, probabilistic modeling and inference, theoretical foundations of rationality, and planning under uncertainty. He also works for the United Nations, developing a new global seismic monitoring system for the nuclear-test-ban treaty.  His current concerns include the threat of autonomous weapons and the long-term future of artificial intelligence and its relation to humanity. His book on the latter topic, Human Compatible, was excerpted in the New York Times and listed among Best Books of 2019 by the Guardian, Forbes, the Daily Telegraph, and the Financial Times.

In the News

In the News

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
January 13, 2020
Peter High
Interviewed about his new book, Human Compatible: AI and the Problem of Control, electrical engineering and computer sciences professor Stuart Russell, director of Berkeley's Center for Human-Compatible AI, talks about his background in the AI field and the rapid-fire developments that have occurred in recent years, and he looks to the future with some warnings about crucial questions that need to be addressed. Asked about his optimism that AI development can regulated to assure society's protection, he says: "Yes, I believe we can do that. It is part of a gradual maturing of the entire IT industry. Other areas such as civil engineering in which people build bridges and skyscrapers that people's lives depend on have developed codes of conduct and legal building codes over the centuries. That is perfectly normal. We do not think about that as onerous government regulation, but we are glad that the skyscraper conforms to the building codes when we are on the 72nd floor of a building. The IT industry is going to have to start becoming more similar to civil engineering and medicine where people have a mature acceptance that the wellbeing of humans are in their hands, and they take that responsibility seriously. I do not believe the IT industry has quite gotten around to this idea that they have a serious effect on the world and not necessarily a good one."
October 7, 2019
Ned Desmond
Asked in an interview why he wrote his new book, "Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control, electrical engineering and computer sciences professor Stuart Russell says: "I've been thinking about this problem -- what if we succeed with AI? -- on and off since the early 90s. The more I thought about it, the more I saw that the path we were on doesn't end well." Asked who should read it, he says: "I think everyone, because everyone is going to be affected by this. As progress occurs towards human level (AI), each big step is going to magnify the impact by another factor of 10, or another factor of 100. Everyone's life is going to be radically affected by this. People need to understand it. More specifically, it would be policymakers, the people who run the large companies like Google and Amazon, and people in AI, related disciplines, like control theory, cognitive science and so on." Professor Russell's book goes on sale Tuesday, October 8.
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