Chicago Booth Review: In this episode of the Capitalisn’t podcast, hosts Bethany McLean and Luigi Zingales sit down with Chicago Booth’s Sendhil Mullainathan to discuss if AI is really “intelligent” and whether a profit motive is always bad. In the process, they shed light on what it means to regulate in the collective interest and if we can escape the demands of capitalism when capital is the very thing that’s required for progress.

Says Mullainathan, “My view is these technologies are going to make us all better off, for sure. The question is, how do we make sure that happens? Because there is risk associated with them. And for me, governance, regulation, it’s all just the way to get us to what I think is a really good state that we couldn’t imagine before.

“That’s not to minimize the risk, but I think I’m fundamentally optimistic that there’s a much better world out there because of these technologies. For me, that’s what makes me excited about governance and regulation. I feel like it’s stuff in the service of getting us to good places we couldn’t otherwise get to.”

Sendhil Mullainathan served as DTI Principal Investigator on the project “Machine Learning Support for Emergency Triage of Pulmonary Collapse in COVID-19.”

Listen to the podcast here.

Stay Tuned: Podcast host Preet Bharara interviews Princeton Professor of Sociology Matthew Desmond, who specializes in the study of poverty. Desmonds’s 2016 book Evicted won the Pulitzer Prize for its incisive examination of poverty and housing policy in America. He joins Bharara to discuss his new book, Poverty, by America, and the many ways poverty is entrenched in one of the world’s wealthiest nations.

Desmond served as Co-Principal Investigator on a 2020 COVID-19 mitigation project led by Karen Chapple, now UC Berkeley professor emerita, examining evictions and eviction policy during the pandemic.

Listen to the podcast here; or read the transcript here.

Cafe/Stay Tuned graphic

May 3, 2023

Chicago Booth Review: DTI COVID-19 researcher Sendhil Mullainathan, professor at the University of Chicago and faculty director of Chicago Booth’s Center for Applied Artificial Intelligence, appears among a panel of experts discussing human discretion, bias, and AI on this UChicago podcast.

Says Mullainathan, “When we think about whether AI will promote equity, I think one of the things I always think back to is people want to anthropomorphize technologies, especially these sort of artificial intelligence technologies, and I think in part because it has the word intelligence in it.

“People want to imagine these tools will have their own intelligence or humanity, almost, and so they want to know what these tools would do, but ultimately, they’re just tools, so whether AI in any context, system, social system, company, whether it promotes equity or not is going to simply be a consequence of the intentions of the people building these algorithms and their knowledgeability.”

Read more here.

April 12, 2023 DTI cybersecurity PI Nick Feamster, Neubauer Professor of Computer Science, Data Science Institute Research Director, and Network Operations and Internet Security Lab Director at the University of Chicago, is featured on the Light Reading podcast, discussing the Internet Equity Initiative he launched last spring to address the digital divide.

Listen here.

KQED-FM: Forum interviews DTI 2020 COVID Housing Precarity PI and UC Berkeley professor emerita of city and regional planning Karen Chapple, who now directs the School of Cities at the University of Toronto, as one of four experts featured on this deep-dive discussion of downtown San Francisco’s post-pandemic future.

Demand for Office Space has Plummeted. What Does That Mean for San Francisco and the Bay Area?

(Pictured: Downtown San Francisco Skyline – San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images)

Robot Brains: In this podcast interview hosted by UC Berkeley roboticist Pieter Abbeel, Microsoft’s Chief Scientific Officer and DTI Advisory Board member Eric Horvitz discusses working on the National Security Commission on AI, the distinction between technology and science, and this “new Sputnik era” of AI.

Don’t miss the companion video, “On the DL,” with quick takes on heroes, humility, and hacking.

Hosted by Carol Massar and Jason Kelly, Bloomberg Businessweek on Bloomberg Radio

Tom Siebel spoke with Bloomberg Radio’s Carol Massar and Jason Kelly, hosts of Bloomberg Businessweek, about’s latest initiatives – the Digital Transformation Institute and COVID-19 Data Lake. He shared how the application of AI to big data will help us determine which interventions work against coronavirus and which do not, making for more informed, accurate policy decisions. He also discussed how he has been inspired by the spirit of collaboration demonstrated by individuals, research institutions, and countries who are pulling together in large-scale efforts to understand the pandemic and control it.

Listen to Tom Siebel, Carol Massar, and Jason Kelly in conversation.

Tom Temin, Host of Federal Drive

Ultimately, fully understanding and solving the coronavirus pandemic will be about the data. There’s no shortage of data sources that are growing hourly. Now nine organizations, business and academic, have formed a coalition to fund world-leading scientists in a coordinated effort to slow the virus and find solutions. Researchers and scientists will have access to massive sets of coronavirus data unified in one place, and added incentives such as cash awards and access to supercomputers and an advanced data analytics platform to assist them in applying modern data analysis and artificial intelligence.

Leading this effort is the Silicon Valley company, whose founder, Tom Siebel, joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin.