Yale Explores…Being Human in the Age of Intelligent Machines

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

March 12, 2019
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco, CA

Yale Explores headed west for its Spring 2019 campaign, bringing an evening of connection, engagement, and interdisciplinary exploration to San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Yale Explores series kicked off a year ago with events in Washington, D.C. and Boston, moving to Philadelphia and New York last fall. At each stop, the program has highlighted the benefits and necessity of interdisciplinary study and research, all while bringing a piece of Yale to alumni, family, and friends around the country. In all, nearly 700 local Yalies came out for the two events, including a capacity crowd of 300 in San Francisco and close to 400 in Los Angeles.

The centerpiece of each event is a moderated panel discussion during which Yale faculty members from different departments and schools address some of the world’s most pressing problems from the perspectives of their own disciplines. The panel discussion is followed by remarks from President Peter Salovey ’86 Ph.D., who provides context to the discourse through his own field of social psychology and the wider lens of the university. “Yale faculty members not only tackle pressing global challenges through exceptional research and scholarship,” Salovey said, “they are teaching the next generation of leaders to develop and adopt solutions that can bridge competing and multifaceted interests.”

The San Francisco event was held March 12 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to discuss “Being Human in the Age of Intelligent Machines,” a closer look at artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and how advances in computer and other sciences affect the human experience. The event was moderated by Yale Jackson Institute senior fellow Margaret Warner ’71 and featured panelists Shelly Kagan (philosophy), Laurie Santos (psychology), and Brian Scassellati (computer science and mechanical engineering and materials science).


Margaret Warner ’71
Senior Fellow, Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
Former Chief Global Affairs Correspondent, PBS NewsHour


Shelly Kagan
Clark Professor of Philosophy, Yale University

Laurie Santos
Professor of Psychology, Yale University

Brian Scassellati
Professor of Computer Science and of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Closing Remarks

Peter Salovey ’86 Ph.D.
President and Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology

Enjoy photos from the event

  • Guests enjoying the opening reception in the SFMOMA Atrium.
  • Alumni reconnecting with classmates and friends.
  • Fun at the Yale Explores photo booth!
  • Shared Interest Group representatives sharing information with local alumni.
  • Awaiting the Yale Explores presentation in the Wattis Theater.
  • Yale Club of San Francisco President Rahul Prasad ’87 Ph.D. welcomes guests.
  • A light moment in the discussion with professors Shelly Kagan, Laurie Santos, Brian Scassellati, and moderator Margaret Warner ’71.
  • President Peter Salovey ’86 Ph.D. sharing his thoughts on Being Human in the Age of Intelligent Machines.
  • Guests interacting with panelist Brian Scassellati (left) after the program.
  • Panelist Laurie Santos (right) converses with guests during the closing reception.
  • Alumni “continuing the conversation” with panelist Shelly Kagan (center).