The 5th Global Grand
Challenges Summit


September 18-20, 2023 Beijing, China
Featured Guests

Diane Greene

Time: July 8, 2023

Diane Greene is a member of the Board of Directors of Stripe and A.P. Moller Holding and Chair Emerita of the MIT Corporation (2023.) Her previous positions include CEO of Google Cloud, Director of Alphabet Inc., Intuit, and SAP, and Ms. Green co-founded and was CEO of three technology companies: VMware, which she took public for a $19B first-day closing valuation; VXtreme, a low-bandwidth streaming video company that Microsoft purchased in 1995; and Bebop, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup acquired by Google in 2015. VMware created the market for mainstream virtualization, a key enabler of today's Clouds. As CEO of Google Cloud, Ms. Greene created Google's first enterprise-capable business unit. She is a lifelong sailor and was the 1976 Women's National Doublehanded Dinghy Champion. Ms. Greene earned a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Vermont, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s in naval architecture from MIT. She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Vermont in 2017. Ms. Greene was elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering in 2018 for contributions in transforming virtualization from a concept to an industry. 

 Title: Embracing AI Disruption Across Disciplines to Advance Engineering for the Digital Economy

Abstract: Engineers have long exploited new technologies to solve problems. Today's unprecedented rapid AI advances—smarter-than-human intelligence coupled with applicability to everything—accelerate engineers' work to solve the world's most complex issues. Unlike earlier breakthrough technologies that took years before their widespread adoption, AI's rapid advancement has stoked urgent concerns about the downsides, including humanity's potential eradication. These fears have resulted in experts calling for a "pause."

In this talk, I reason it is too late to put the AI genie back in the bottle. Engineers have handled bad and good tool use for all previous technology breakthroughs. They can and must do the same for AI, even though its capabilities are entering uncharted territory. Today, engineers are applying AI aggressively for good, and rather than trying to hold that progress back, we should double down on the good, including mitigating potential harms. Otherwise, only the bad guys will be unfettered in using and moving AI capabilities forward.


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