Today, research institutions, nongovernmental organizations, business leaders and governments around the world are asking the same questions when imagining a future with AI. How can we responsibly govern emerging technology with both realism and optimism? How do we lead the future with human agency driven by data insight? And above all, how can we use everything we have learned and have invented as a force for good and as a catalyst for change? 


The Rockefeller Foundation has long addressed the challenges and opportunities AI presents. In fact, the Foundation funded the Dartmouth Summer Research Project in 1956, where a band of scientists, engineers and mathematicians originated the term artificial intelligence. 64 years on, in October 2019, The Rockefeller Foundation hosted A Month of AI in Bellagio at the Bellagio Center. Leaders in technology, the public sector, the social sciences and the arts gathered to ask deeper questions and offer pioneering answers. Their objective was to shape and share a collective vision of how AI affects our well-being and what societal shifts we will see as more human and machine collaboration continues to develop and emerge.


More recently, 50,000feet is honored to have had the opportunity to work with The Rockefeller Foundation on a compilation on the current state of AI, featuring a range of scientific, economic and cultural conversations that took place during the month-long event surrounding how it is impacting us today and helping to define tomorrow. As a guide to AI, fourteen of the world’s most recognized voices in the field of AI today penned essays to add to The Rockefeller Foundation AI+1 report, with the intention of making the collection a “notebook of ideas” to encourage us to continue to explore nuanced topics rather than providing definitive answers. Paired with imaginative illustrations by Nicholas Blechman and edited by Carolyn Whelan, the report brings together the story of AI to readers in an accessible and editorial way, while inviting us all to help write the next chapter.


Read the full report here
Read It’s Nice That’s feature article here.


The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, policy, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas and conversations.

The Bellagio Center is a hub for innovation, expansive thinking and cross-disciplinary practice that expands The Rockefeller Foundation’s capacity to catalyze and scale transformative ideas, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot. For over six decades, the Center has convened prominent experts, influencers, and other key stakeholders to spread knowledge, form new partnerships and financial commitments, and advance initiatives that support the Foundation’s goals. Through its residency and conference programs, the Center has a long legacy of stimulating critical dialogue, thinking and actions that have made major contributions to the Foundation’s enduring mission, “to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world.”