Future

When the engineers meet the philosophers

Illustration of a robot arm holding a human skull à la Hamlet
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Get everyone in the room: That's the new mantra for AI researchers, nervous about the potential for their technology to decimate jobs and perpetuate human biases. They're pulling in experts from every academic background, including seemingly incompatible ones, to help steer the course.

Driving the news: But sparks flew last evening in a star-studded on-stage conversation between prominent AI researcher Fei-Fei Li and celebrity author–philosopher Yuval Noah Harari. Li, who is behind an enormous multidisciplinary project at Stanford to inject human values into AI research, often calls for closer collaboration between disciplines. But she and Harari were frequently at odds on stage.

Tech companies step in to stop date rape

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In the U.S., 37 states require schools to teach abstinence as part of sex-education. Zero states mandate that they address drug-facilitated sexual assault, otherwise known as date rape.

Why it matters: This isn't like getting struck by lightning. Having a tasteless, colorless rohypnol — a "roofie" — dropped in your Merlot is a pervasive problem for women and men of all ages, yet students aren't taught about it. So tech companies are stepping in to help people identify and handle the problem.