The AI Initiative is an initiative of The Future Society at Harvard Kennedy School dedicated to the rise of Artificial Intelligence.

Created in 2015, it gathers students, researchers, alumni, faculty and experts from Harvard and beyond, interested in understanding the consequences of the rise of Artificial Intelligence.

Its mission is to help shape the global AI policy framework.


Priorities as a partner of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data

Improvements and convergences in machine learning and neurosciences combined with the availability of massive datasets and the ubiquity of high-performance scalable computing are propelling us into a new age of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The promise these developments hold is immense; so too are the risks.

These challenges require both immediate and future action. Computing systems are already outperforming humans in many tasks that profoundly shape our everyday lives in the fields of transportation, communication, energy, finance, and healthcare, as well as defense and security. There are clear upsides and opportunities, but the unintended socio-political consequences are serious, disrupting the fabric of our social contracts, sense of human identity, dignity, and considerations of agency and personal empowerment. Also visible on the horizon is the existential challenge posed by the possible emergence within this century of superintelligent machines, which would be vastly superior in scale and speed to a human brain or even a collective of brains.

While experts differ in their predictions as to the likelihood of this development, the velocity, complexity, and magnitude of the current global race for Artificial Intelligence necessitates that leaders and policymakers begin developing a coherent and actionable response. Underestimating the impact of AI in the short, mid and long-term is unwise and potentially dangerous.

CONVENE: Organize a yearly meeting that brings together an inclusive interdisciplinary working group of stakeholders (public and private sectors, academia, civil society) and experts that can interpret disruptive shifts in AI technology.

CREATE: Collaborate toward a global agreement on beneficial safeguards, transparency standards, design guidelines and confidence-building measures.

IMPLEMENT: Help world policymakers from all branches of governments and associated stakeholders (corporations and civil society) implement agreed upon rules and regulations at local and international levels.


This Partner Works to Achieve These SDGs