AI pioneer Stuart Russell named 2021 Reith Lecturer
UC Berkeley computer scientist Stuart Russell, renowned for his foundational work in artificial intelligence, has been named the 2021 BBC Reith Lecturer. Launched by the BBC in 1948, the series of annual Reith Lectures taps the expertise of the leading minds of the day and is one of the most prestigious public lectures in Britain.
Russell, the Michael H. Smith and Lotfi A. Zadeh Chair in Engineering and director of the Center for Human-Compatible AI, will deliver four lectures in November 2021 that explore the impact of AI on society and tackle the difficult questions related to the long-term future of AI and its place in humanity.
“It’s a great honor to be invited to give the Reith Lectures,” said Russell in the BBC announcement. “The topic of artificial intelligence is ubiquitous in the media, yet the opportunities for in-depth explanation are few. I look forward to opening a conversation concerning questions about our future with AI — questions in which every human being has a stake.”
Previous Reith Lecturers include scholars and luminaries from a wide range of fields. Bertrand Russell, the inaugural lecturer, would go on to win the Nobel prize in Literature in 1950, and Berkeley physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer gave the Reith Lectures in 1953.
Lectures are recorded before a live audience and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and the World Service, as well as posted online.