Can Societies Keep Up with Technology?

Richard Haass and Stanford University Professor Fei-Fei Li discuss how to contend with technologies that can do both good and harm.

Play Button Pause Button
0:00 0:00
  • Richard Haass
    President Emeritus, Council on Foreign Relations

Show Notes

About This Episode


Artificial intelligence, quantum computing, robotics, and other emerging technologies are radically altering society, prompting experts to question whether they will be detrimental or advantageous to the world. In this episode of Nine Questions for the World, Richard Haass and Fei-Fei Li, a professor at Stanford University, consider ethical approaches to technological growth and the future of tech regulation.


This podcast series was originally presented as “The 21st Century World: Big Challenges and Big Ideas,” an event series in celebration of CFR’s centennial. This episode is based on a live event that took place on November 1, 2021.


See the corresponding video here.


Dig Deeper


From Fei-Fei Li


Tess Posner and Fei-Fei Li, “AI will change the world, so it’s time to change AI,” Nature


From CFR 


Chris Rohlf, “AI Code Generation and Cybersecurity” 


Lauren A. Kahn, “U.S. Leadership in Artificial Intelligence Is Still Possible


Robert Morgus and Justin Sherman, “What Policymakers Need to Know About Quantum Computing


Christopher Zheng, “The Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities to Artificial Intelligence


Read More


Joy Buolamwini, “Artificial Intelligence Has a Problem With Gender and Racial Bias. Here’s How to Solve It,” Time


Ashley Stahl, “How AI Will Impact The Future Of Work And Life,” Forbes


Spandana Singh, “The Building Blocks of Meaningful AI Regulation,” New America


Watch and Listen


The State of Ethical AI Frameworks 2021,” AI Today


Predicting the unintended consequences of AI, with Niya Stoimenova - TU Delft,” The Human-Centered AI Podcast


Richard Haass and Minouche Shafik, director of the London School of Economics, assess the future of the labor market and examine how to provide workers with the skills and training they need in an era of ongoing technological change.


By all accounts, China is sure to have an outsized impact on the world over the next 100 years. Richard Haass and Elizabeth Perry, director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute, consider China’s rise and the implications for global order.   

Political History and Theory

Richard Haass and Margaret MacMillan, one of the world’s foremost historians, discuss how best to apply history to better understand current global challenges, including the erosion of democracy, the rise of China, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Top Stories on CFR

Genocide and Mass Atrocities

Thirty years ago, Rwanda’s government began a campaign to eradicate the country’s largest minority group. In just one hundred days in 1994, roving militias killed around eight hundred thousand people. Would-be killers were incited to violence by the radio, which encouraged extremists to take to the streets with machetes. The United Nations stood by amid the bloodshed, and many foreign governments, including the United States, declined to intervene before it was too late. What got in the way of humanitarian intervention? And as violent conflict now rages at a clip unseen since then, can the international community learn from the mistakes of its past?


The IMF and World Bank’s spring meetings will focus on the prospects for a soft landing after years of global economic turbulence. But major challenges remain, including growing climate finance needs and persistently high global debt levels.

South Korea

The center-left Democratic Party added to its legislative majority after the recent parliamentary election, which would deal a blow to President Yoon Suk Yeol’s domestic reform agenda and possibly his efforts to improve ties with Japan.