The Worlds I See: Curiosity, Exploration, and Discovery at the Dawn of AI (Hardcover)
ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S RECOMMENDED BOOKS ON AI * FINANCIAL TIMES BEST BOOKS OF 2023
From Dr. Fei-Fei Li, one of TIME's 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL in AI, comes "a powerful plea for keeping humanity at the centre of our latest technological transformation" (Financial Times).
Wired called Dr. Fei-Fei Li “one of a tiny group of scientists—a group perhaps small enough to fit around a kitchen table—who are responsible for AI’s recent remarkable advances.”
Known to the world as the creator of ImageNet, a key catalyst of modern artificial intelligence, Dr. Li has spent more than two decades at the forefront of the field. But her career in science was improbable from the start. As immigrants, her family faced a difficult transition from China’s middle class to American poverty. And their lives were made all the harder as they struggled to care for her ailing mother, who was working tirelessly to help them all gain a foothold in their new land.
Fei-Fei’s adolescent knack for physics endured, however, and positioned her to make a crucial contribution to the breakthrough we now call AI, placing her at the center of a global transformation. Over the last decades, her work has brought her face-to-face with the extraordinary possibilities—and the extraordinary dangers—of the technology she loves.
The Worlds I See is a story of science in the first person, documenting one of the century’s defining moments from the inside. It provides a riveting story of a scientist at work and a thrillingly clear explanation of what artificial intelligence actually is—and how it came to be. Emotionally raw and intellectually uncompromising, this book is a testament not only to the passion required for even the most technical scholarship but also to the curiosity forever at its heart.
About the Author
Fei-Fei Li is a computer science professor at Stanford University and founding director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI as well as a founder and chairperson of the board of the nonprofit AI4ALL. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Praise for The Worlds I See
“An affecting memoir … Her story of overcoming adversity inspires. This brings new dimension and humanity to discussions of AI.”
"An inspiring personal journey from immigrant childhood to trailblazing scientist, The Worlds I See advocates for overcoming societal barriers and makes a compelling case for a human-centric, ethical approach to AI."
―Jennifer Doudna, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, CRISPR pioneer, and coauthor of A Crack in Creation
"Fei-Fei Li is one of the scientists responsible for the birth of today's most widely discussed science, Artificial Intelligence. In The Worlds I See she gives the best explanation of AI that I've ever read while telling the story of her own profoundly American journey as a young immigrant who finds herself through education. This is a must-read."
―Condoleezza Rice, Director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford and 66th Secretary of State of the United States.
“A remarkable book from one of the leading scientists in the field of artificial intelligence. It’s both a moving and personal coming of age story of a young scientist and a riveting narrative that brings the reader into the earliest days of one of the most consequential scientific developments of our time. The Worlds I See is a deeply human story that is ultimately about Fei-Fei Li’s lifelong passion for learning and deep love of science.”
―Ed Catmull, cofounder Pixar, bestselling author of Creativity Inc.
"A fascinating and galvanizing memoir, The Worlds I See is a testament to the power and possibility of humanity—one told through Fei-Fei Li’s own remarkable trajectory from humble origins to becoming one of AI’s key visionaries, and in her essential work to develop and use that technology to improve the human condition."
―Reid Hoffman, co-founder of Linkedin and Inflection.AI, bestselling author of Impromptu
"Fei-Fei Li was the first computer vision researcher to truly understand the power of big data and her work opened the floodgates for deep learning. She delivers an urgent, clear-eyed account of the awesome potential—and danger—of the AI technology that she helped to unleash and her call for action and collective responsibility is desperately needed at this pivotal moment in history."
―Geoff Hinton, Turing Award winner, and Professor of Computer Science, University of Toronto
"Readers looking for a portal into a science that is not often illuminated or connected back to the human experience may especially enjoy this memoir." ―Booklist