2016 Great Immigrants Recipient

Fei-Fei Li
Computer Scientist, Google
Born in:
China

“I feel so indebted to this system that would take an immigrant kid, who has nothing, no connection, no money, no understanding of this culture and give her all these opportunities,” Fei-Fei Li said recently at a Stanford University event. Li came to the U.S. from China at 16 with no English language skills, but went on to graduate at the top of her high school class. While studying physics at Princeton University, she borrowed money to buy a dry-cleaning business for her parents. Li is a professor of computer science at Stanford, where she directs the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, and she is also the chief scientist for AI research at Google Cloud. Her research focuses on machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, and computational neuroscience. Li, who has published more than 150 scientific articles, is an advocate of “human-centered” AI, envisioning machines not as “our competitors, but partners in securing our well-being,” she wrote in a March 2018 New York Times op-ed. Updated July 2016