CITP Seminar: The Societal Impact of Foundation Models

Date & Time May 02 2023 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Location Computer Science
Rishi Bommasani
Audience Open to the Public

Foundation models (ChatGPT, StableDiffusion) are transforming society: remarkable capabilities, serious risks, rampant deployment, unprecedented adoption, overflowing funding, and unending controversy. In this talk, we will center our attention on their societal impact. In the first half, we will discuss two efforts (HELM, Ecosystem Graphs) to ensure their transparency through standardized public reporting. In the second half, we will talk about work-in-progress to understand unique dimensions of their harms (monoculture and homogenization) as well as mechanisms to drive change. Overall, the goal is for the talk to be high-tempo and broad-coverage to stimulate discussion on what we should do!

Rishi Bommasani is a third-year CS Ph.D. student at Stanford University, advised by Percy Liang and Dan Jurafsky. His work broadly focuses on the societal impact of AI, often by leading large-scale collaborations and building interdisciplinary teams. More specifically, he studies foundation models in relation to concepts such as evaluation, systemic harm, governance, policy, and power. Prior to Stanford, Rishi completed his bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, advised by Claire Cardie. He is currently supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

To request accommodations for a disability please contact Jean Butcher,, at least one week prior to the event.